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Ronald “Ronnie” Kasrils PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2015 11:18

Ronnie Kasrils (1938-) was born and educated in Johannesburg at King Edward VII School. He started off as a script writer for a film studio in Johannesburg and then for Lever Brothers. Kasrils spent a few years in Durban occupying various roles. He worked in an advertising agency in Durban's Victoria Embankment. He also worked at the Durban-branch (Grey Street) of the New Age newspaper. He was later arrested in Durban for anti-Apartheid activism.

Prompted by the Sharpeville massacre, Kasrils joined the ANC in 1960. He became a member of the armed wing of the ANC Umkhonto we Sizwe,  the following year, and participated in many sabotage operations, some of which were with his wife, Eleanor.

Pursued by the police, the couple fled into exile in 1963 after Eleanor’s brave escape from detention. Exiled for 27 years, Kasrils was based in London, Luanda, Maputo, and Lusaka. He worked underground for the ANC in South Africa during Operation Vula, a plan by the ANC to have a structure in place designed to overthrow the apartheid regime.

After the first democratic elections in South Africa, Kasrils was appointed Deputy Minister of Defence from 1994 to 1999. He then became Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry from 1999 to 2004, when he was appointed Minister of Intelligence Services until he submitted his resignation in September 2008.

Author of bestselling autobiography, Armed and Dangerous (1993), Kasrils emerged as the country’s Sunday Times Alan Paton Award winner in 2011, for The Unlikely Secret Agent, a memoir based on the life of his late wife, a leading figure in the apartheid struggle, who died in 2009 at the age of 73. The Unlikely Secret Agent, Kasrils says, “[It] is a testament and tribute to Eleanor […] I wanted people to realise who she was and what she had done. I also wanted South Africans to realise what our people are like and how the ordinary, average person has within themselves the most amazing qualities [...]”

Selected Work

Excerpt from Armed and Dangerous: From Undercover Struggle to Freedom (2004:24):

That very morning thousands of people had begun marching into the city from Cato Manor – a sprawling shanty-town behind the Berea. Their aim was to reach the city prison and demand the release of their leaders. Like a river, they split up into various streams to avoid the police. A group of marchers were blocked by a hastily-erected police barricade right on our doorstep.

There were people of both sexes and all ages, poorly dressed and down at heel, unarmed save for a pitiful assortment of sticks carried by some of the men. Blocking their paths were lines of police with sten-guns pointed straight at them. There was silence from the people. They remained calm and dignified.

White suburbanites sheltered indoors, peering nervously from behind barred windows. A couple of white men, pistols in their belts, strutted out into the street and took up positions behind the police lines. A young black man with a beard, dressed in a ragged coat, parleyed with a police commander who towered over him. The police line gave the appearance of nonchalance but you could make out the nervous twitching of trigger-fingers. I debated whether to join the township people. Before I could decide, the crowd turned about and marched peacefully back to Cato Manor.




1993. Armed and dangerous: my undercover struggle against apartheid. Oxford: Heinemann.

2004. Armed and dangerous: from undercover struggle to freedom. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball.

2010. The Unlikely Secret Agent. Auckland Park: Jacana Media.

Academic Articles and Speeches:

1996. Defence and democracy. Durban: University of Natal

1997. Steckbrieflich gesucht undercover gegen Apartheid. Essen Neue-Impulse-Verl. Available at: Worldcat.

2002. (With M. Ozinsky). Declaration of Conscience on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by South Africans of Jewish Descent. Middle East Policy, v9 n1 (March 2002): 58-63. Available at: Wiley Online Library.

2003. 2003 budget votes National Assembly and National Council of Provinces. Pretoria, South Africa: Dept. of Water Affairs and Forestry. Available at: WorldCat.

2005. South African Intelligence Services: meeting the challenges of the 21st century: spies, soothsayers, sangomas!: budget vote address. South Africa: Ministry for Intelligence Services, Republic of South Africa. Available at: WorldCat.

2006. Who will guard the guards? Budget vote address. Pretoria: Ministry for Intelligence Services. Available at: ArticleFirst.

2007. Speech to the South African Parliament on the 40TH Anniversary of the Israeli

Occupation. Middle East Policy, 14, no. 3: 45-48. Blackwell Publishing.

2007. David and Goliath: who is who in the Middle East. Marshalltown, South Africa: Umrabulo. Available at: Worldcat.

2008. To spy or not to spy? Budget vote address. Cape Town: Ministry, Intelligence Services, Republic of South Africa. Available at: Worldcat.

2008. Tribute - The Constant Communist -- Brian Percy Bunting (1920-2008). London, South African Communist Party. The African Communist. no. 176: 43. Available at: ArticleFirst.

2008. Tribute - A time for war and peace -- In memory of Cassius Maake. London: South African Communist Party, 1960-. The African Communist. no. 176: 51. Available at: ArticleFirst.

2008. Anniversary of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale - Turning point in the struggle against apartheid. London, South African Communist Party, 1960-.

The African Communist. no. 175: 54. Available at: ArticleFirst.

2010. Coming to terms with the legacy of cde Joe Slovo. London, South African Communist Party, 1960-. The African Communist. no. 183: 42. Available at: ArticleFirst.

2012. (With J. Jimenez).  Armado y peligroso. Tafalla, Nafarroa Txalaparta. Available at: Worldcat.

On the Twitter Trail: May 2015 Roundup PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2015 11:14

By Rasvanth Chunylall

Many writers have embraced twitter as a medium to engage with fans, develop their brand identities, share news stories and express their thoughts and opinions. This month most of the writers were shocked by the Fifa scandal and excited about the

Franschhoek Literary Festival and the Comrades Marathon. Here are some of the highlights:

I've started my new novel. Can't deny my fears that I'm not completely free to express my creative ideas. Am I treading on dangerous ground

— Zainub Priya Dala (@zpdala) May 04, 2015

Love is a living gospel. Forever and always.

— Tumelo Khoza (@TumeloKhoza) May 06, 2014

It would appear that Alistair Sparks can give Verwoerd a compliment, setting aside his racism, for a minute. Could he do this with Hitler?

— Eric Miyeni (@EricMiyeni) May 10, 2015

Best thing of all is the #AskMaimane hashtag with the whole of SA asking the new leader of the DA questions he never thought he'd get. <3!

— Janet van Eeden (@janetvaneeden) May 13, 2015

So looking forward to the Franschhoek Literary Festival this weekend! What an honour to be taking part #flf2015

— Carol Campbell (@CarolKaroo) May 13, 2015

Great work South Africa. 400 'illegal' Mozambicans have been deported. You can all get your jobs back now.

— Azad Essa (@azadessa) May 16, 2015

My father's passing reminded me to show love and appreciation to people while they're still alive. #LessonsFromTheGrave

— Tumelo Khoza (@TumeloKhoza) May 17, 2014

Loved the heart-pounding, gear-crunching #MadMaxFuryRoad. Men and women equal players in the wasteland=awesome!

— Malla Nunn (@MallaNunn) May 18, 2015

It feels good to be in love again.. With the girl who seem to love me more thn I deserve.

— Minenhle Mthembu (@IamMinenhle_ZN) May 18, 2015

#MikeBrown would have been 19 today #BlackLivesMatter

— Nazia Peer (@PeerNazia) May 20, 2015

Love the piece by @MarianneThamm about #FLF15 'the extraordinary passport that is a white skin'.

Charlotte Otter (@charlwrites) May 22, 2015

We in #SouthAfrica salute you #IrelandVoteYes

— Trevor Kleinhans (@secretsmakeusic) May 23, 2015

#AfricaDay is great but I hope it focuses on issues facing countries on this continent like #HumanRights violations especially #LGBTI rights

— Trevor Kleinhans (@secretsmakeusic) May 25, 2015

#MadMaxFuryRoad is a faultlessly rendered violence-porn mashup. None of the wit, intelligence or originality of the films it is based on.

— Jann Turner (@JannTurner) May 25, 2015

Even after bribing, South Africa couldn't reach second round of World Cup 2010 #FIFA. I am unsure as to what I should be more angry about

— Azad Essa (@azadessa) May 27, 2015

Sponsors must pull out not the federations. Sponsors remaining a part of #FifaCorruption are equally guilty of #slavery & deaths

— Trevor Kleinhans (@secretsmakeusic) May 28, 2015

#NkandlaReport Nhleko's performance a case of “see no evil”, "hear no evil" but not convincing on the third part of that old saying.

— Tony Leon (@TonyLeonSA) May 28, 2015

The #FIFAcorruption scandal takes us to the heart of what is wrong in the global economy. Human Greed of our elites.

— Jay Naidoo(@Jay_Naidoo) May 28, 2015

Who carried the briefcase with the $10m to Paris? Someone who didn't go through customs! #FIFAarrests #SAWorldCup

— Carol Campbell (@CarolKaroo) May 28, 2015

Good luck to everyone running #comrades2015 tomorrow.

— Rosamund Kendal (@Rosamundkendal) May 30, 2015

I find the growing impunity of politicians in the private use of public resources one of the gravest threats to democracy. #NkandlaReport

— Jay Naidoo(@Jay_Naidoo) May 30, 2015

Come on my favourite #comradessisters !!!!!! You've got this! @FionaMcCarthy10 @carapechey #ComradesMarathon #comrades2015

Melissa Delport (@melissadelport) May 31, 2015

Monday, 22 June 2015 10:29

About the Author:

Evgenia Amey completed a Master’s Degree in Tourism Studies in Social Sciences at the University of Lapland in Finland and her thesis focuses on the experiences of tourists from the UK whose main motivation to travel to a certain place comes from fictional literature and for whom a literary trip has personal significance.



Literary tourism is a sub-sector of cultural tourism and relates to travelling to places connected to fictional texts and the authors of those texts. Sites visited by literary tourists can be connected to the writer or literary work: places associated with writers, actual places featuring in the fictional text or places that inspired the work of fiction can act as literary sites. Although literary tourism is an old form of tourism and lies at the foundation of classic European Grand Tour, it has not received much academic attention until recently and a number of qualitative studies on literary tourist experiences is still limited.

This study aims to address the lack of knowledge on literary tourist experiences by producing and analysing rich qualitative data in the form of written narratives of literary tourist experiences. The research objectives are, firstly, to explore how respondents prescribe meanings to their literary tourist experiences; secondly, to discover how authenticity appears in narratives of literary tourist experiences; and, thirdly, to find out how respondents construct their narratives of literary tourist experiences;

My particular focus was on the role of authenticity in literary tourist experience. An ongoing discourse on authenticity in tourism saw the emergence of different views and resulted in proposition of three general types of authenticity, namely objective authenticity, constructive authenticity and existential authenticity. The first two types concern tourist objects, therefore they are viewed as object-related, while existential authenticity is subject (or tourist)-related and is based on personal experience.

Collected data included seven narratives, written by respondents on their literary tourist experiences. Another cluster of data included travel journal jointly produced by members of after-school study group on their literary tourist experience and group supervisor’s notes on the effects of literary tourism on students. Apart from content analysis, structural analysis of narrative was conducted using Greimas’s actantial model.

The research results support the assumption that all three types of authenticity can be important in literary tourist experience and that object-related (objective and constructive) authenticity can facilitate subject-related (existential) authenticity. The study further confirms that literary tourists are a heterogeneous group and authenticity is perceived and consumed differently by individual literary tourists based on their motivations, expectations and levels of knowledge and dedication regarding the writers and literary works.

The results of the study can be utilized in management of literary destinations. Future research on the subject of literary tourist experiences can concentrate on the specifics of tourists’ age and gender, literary touristic communitas and literary tourism as family activity.

Keywords: Authenticity in tourism, cultural tourism, literary geographies, literary tourism, narrative analysis, tourist experiences, tourism studies.

Click here for Amey's full dissertation...

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