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This month in history

Tuesday, 15 November 1938 - Anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils is born

South African anti-apartheid activist Ronnie Kasrils was born in the Johannesburg suburb of Yeoville. The Sharpeville massacre and its aftermath drew him closer to the African National Congress (ANC). He was renowned for perfectly executing tasks entrusted to him by the leadership of the party. He was a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). He personally executed acts of sabotage.

Kasrils was constantly on the run from government law enforcement agencies. In 1963, he skipped the country to Dar es Salaam. He has travelled to several foreign countries on ANC missions.

After the country's first democratic elections in 1994, he was appointed as the Minister of Defence in President Nelson Mandela's Cabinet. He later became Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry under President Thabo Mbeki. He served his second term in Mbeki's Cabinet as Minister of Intelligence.