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'The Unlikely Secret Agent' by Ronnie Kasrils

Date Released: Tue, 31 August 2010 10:31 +0200

The Faculty of Humanities invites you to attend the following seminar:
The Unlikely Secret Agent by Ronnie Kasrils, former South African Government Minister

It is 1963. South Africa is in crisis and the white state is under siege. On 19 August the dreaded Security Police swoop on Griggs bookstore in downtown Durban and arrest Eleanor, the daughter of the manageress. They threaten to 'break her or hang her' if she does not lead them to her lover, 'Red' Ronnie Kasrils, who is wanted on suspicion of involvement in recent acts of sabotage, including the toppling of electricity pylons and explosions at a Security Police office in Durban.

Though she comes under intense pressure during interrogation, Eleanor has her own secret to conceal. She has been acting as a clandestine agent for the underground ANC and must protect her handlers and Ronnie at all costs. Astutely, she convinces the police that she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and, still a prisoner, is sent off to a mental hospital in Pietermaritzburg for assessment. It is here that she plots her escape .

This remarkable story of a young woman's courage and daring at a time of increasing repression in apartheid South Africa is told here for the first time with great verve by Eleanor's husband, Ronnie Kasrils, who eventually became South Africa's Minister of Intelligence Services in 2004. He is the author of a bestselling autobiography, 'Armed and Dangerous'.

Introduced by: Jeff Peires, Interim Head: Cory Library for Historical Research.

Date: Tuesday 07 September 2010 @ 5pm
Venue: Faculty of Humanities Seminar Room

(Copies of the book will be on sale courtesy of University Publishers and Booksellers @ R170)