Armed and Dangerous: From Undercover Struggle to Freedom (Paperback)
Now in its fourth edition, Armed and Dangerous is the first-hand account of Kasrils’s years in both the liberation struggle and in government. Kasrils gives an insider’s account of the workings of Umkhonto weSizwe, the armed wing of the ANC. Nicknamed ‘The Red Pimpernel’ by the South African press and public for slipping in and out of South Africa in disguise to run secret missions, Kasrils narrowly escaped arrest in several close shaves with security forces. Following the arrests of Mandela and other ANC leaders, he fled into hiding overseas, became one of the key commanders of Umkhonto weSizwe and set up training camps in Tanzania, Cuba and elsewhere. Armed and Dangerous is dedicated to the Born Frees, the generation born after the attainment of a democratic South Africa in 1994, to help them understand the struggle and carry on where we left off to make South Africa a better place for all who live in it.
Ronnie Kasrils was prompted by the Sharpville Massacre to join the ANC in 1960, and was the secretary of the Congress of Democrats in Natal until it was banned in 1962. He became a member of Umkhonto weSizwe at its inception in 1961 and participated in many sabotage operations. After the first democratic elections in South Africa, Kasrils was appointed Deputy Minister of Defence from 1994–1999. He then became Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry from 1999–2004 and was appointed Minister of Intelligence Services until he submitted his resignation in 2008 following former President Thabo Mbeki’s resignation.