The current South African politics do not reflect the legacy of the struggle against apartheid. This was Ronnie Kasrils’ reflection of the evolution of politics in South Africa at his book launch on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 on the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Kingsway Campus.
Kasrils is a former Minister for Intelligence Services of South Africa and former member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC.
The book, Armed and Dangerous – From Undercover Struggle to Freedom, provides a reflection of the various experiences of Kasrils’s life during the political struggle prior to and post 1994. Kasrils lived in various camps in Russia, Britain, and parts of Africa when he served in the ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).
Although Kasrils agrees that the struggle against apartheid was worthwhile, he believes the government could have done better with policies around foreign investments in the country to ensure ordinary South Africans benefit more.
Prof Edward Webster, Professor of Sociology and Research at Wits, and Dr Arianna Lissoni, Postdoctoral Fellow at UJ’s Faculty of Humanities, gave a definite analysis of the book during the launch, sharing their views on the meanings of Kasrils’s experiences while he was in government. “The book allows South African government officials to relook at where they have gone wrong as leaders. It is a unique important piece in that it has four editions which cover various stages of the South African political landscape,” said Dr Lissoni at the launch.
According to Prof Webster, the book reflects the failures and points out importantly the stages where the party in charge of running the government, the ANC, lost track to good governance.