http://www.polity.org.za
Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / Author Interviews RSS ← Back
Close

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Verification Image. Please refresh the page if you cannot see this image.

Sponsored by

Close

Article Enquiry

Class Action: In pursuit of a larger life – Charles Abrahams

Verification Image. Please refresh the page if you cannot see this image.
Close

Embed Video

Class Action: In pursuit of a larger life – Charles Abrahams

Charles Abrahams discusses his book 'Class Action: In pursuit of a larger life'. (Camera & editing: Creamer Media's Nicholas Boyd)

11th March 2019

SAVE THIS ARTICLE      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE

Font size: -+

Charles Abrahams is a world-class lawyer who sued multinationals for colluding with the apartheid government, but at twelve he was determined to become a world-famous heart surgeon. Then a school inspector shattered his dream: coloured children from the Cape Flats ‘should not aim too high’.

Class Action is the story of how Charles aimed high anyway, despite a childhood that included forced removal, dire poverty and the deep sense of shame of being neither white nor a ‘white coloured’. As one of eleven children in a poor family, he experienced constant hardship and family strife. Violence was ubiquitous: his street was notorious for its gang fights, his father abused his mother at home, and schoolteachers beat darker-skinned children like him.

Advertisement

Charles wanted a larger life, and he found it through student politics, anti-apartheid activism and reading. He studied relentlessly, finding not only formidable political weapons, but a means to delve into the damage apartheid had done to his personal identity, self esteem, sexuality and morality. He went on to qualify as a lawyer and, after defending local gangsters, he sought to do good through human-rights and class-action law. He has since spearheaded some of South Africa’s most historic, groundbreaking lawsuits, pursuing justice for ordinary citizens whose lives were ruined by powers too profit-driven to ever think about them.

Class Action depicts a remarkable journey of resistance and healing in reaction to institutionalised greed and racism and the harm it has done to our identities, our relationships and the people of our country.

Advertisement

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charles Abrahams is a prominent South African human-rights and class-action lawyer. He holds a BProc degree from the University of the Western Cape and a master’s degree in Public International Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is the recipient of the prestigious Edward Quist-Arcton Award and the Nelson Mandela Scholarship Award.

Class Action is published by Penguin Random House South Africa

EMAIL THIS ARTICLE      SAVE THIS ARTICLE ARTICLE ENQUIRY

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here

Comment Guidelines

About

Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now
Register Close