THE UNLIKELY SECRET AGENT

: Kasrils (R.)

R 240.00
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183 pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, 2010

 

Ronnie Kasrils' account of his wife Eleanor's arrest by the Security Police in 1963, her detention and interrogation, and her escape from Fort Napier, a mental hospital in Pietermaritzburg where she had been sent for assessment.

"Eleanor Kasrils was catapulted into the politics of the national democratic movement by the terrible events at Sharpville and Langa of March 1960. Because her conscience would not allow her to stand by passively muttering complaints she threw herself heart and soul into the struggle to eradicate racism and apartheid. That commitment led her to being cast in the unlikely roles of burglar, saboteur, underground courier and ultimately that of exile. For twenty-seven years Eleanor and her husband Ronnie were engaged in some of the most clandestine aspects of the struggle for liberation. Leading a life filled with the tensions, anxieties and suspense typical of a spy thriller, Eleanor was still able to run a household and bring up two sons. Perhaps it was precisely her image, belying the work she was engaged in, that made her successful. This slim volume retells the story of one more dimension of our multifaceted liberation struggle that has remained secret until now." Z.Pallo Jordan

"This 'little' book about an 'ordinary' woman with the heart of a lioness confirms the truth that our freedom was not free." Thabo Mbeki

"Fugitives, freedom fighters, lovers: 'The Unlikely Secret Agent' is the remarkable true story of the South African liberation struggle's very own Bonnie and Clyde." John Carlin, journalist and author of "Invictus"

Ronnie Kasrils became South Africa's Minister of Intelligence Services in 2004. He has also written an autobiography, "Armed and Dangerous".