London Recruits Editor, Ken Keable, Recalls His Role in the Resistance Movement During Apartheid
Business Day‘s Eugene Goddard interviewed Ken Keable, editor of London Recruits. Keable explains why he decided to tell his story after all these years and how the idea for the book came about. He also recalls accidentally setting off a charge in a Durban hotel room, an incident that has haunted him to this day.
Since 1994, South Africa has built up an extensive oeuvre of struggle literature but its latest addition, London Recruits: The Secret War Against Apartheid, is unlike anything else.
There were many secret wars in South Africa’s liberation, but this recollection of radical exploits in the late 1960s and early 1970s is unique. What’s remarkable about the stories of the London Recruits is that they stayed under wraps for so long.
Most remarkable are the details: of Young Communist League (YCL) members from all over the UK and Ireland sneaking into the country as fresh-faced newlyweds and harmless young travellers, with “the right skin colour” of course, only to post letters to local anti-apartheid sympathisers and, far more audaciously, unfurl huge banners from the top of buildings with slogans such as “ANC fights!”