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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Daily Maverick by Greg Nicolson.]

Ronnie Kasrils’ latest book reveals that President Jacob Zuma was a flawed leader even before the corruption claims and his rape trial. Greg Nicolson spoke to Kasrils, who explained how alliance partners ignored warnings about Zuma and how the movement opened itself up to such leaders through the compromises the ANC made in the 1990s.

At 78 years old, Ronnie Kasrils is formidably bulky, as though the soldier in him will never leave. He wears a red polo shirt and sits on a multi-patterned couch in his Greenside, Johannesburg home. Mementos he’s collected from his travels line the shelves. As he starts with small talk, you almost forget his role in the liberation movement.

Kasrils, who served as Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) head of intelligence, was a member of the ANC’s national executive committee and the SACP’s central committee and served as intelligence minister from 2004 to 2008. He wrote his most recent book, A Simple Man: Kasrils and the Zuma enigma, to address a question he is repeatedly asked: how did Jacob Zuma, the freedom fighter, a man of the people, transform into a corrupt and disreputable figure?

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South Africa at a Glance
56 500 000 (mid 2017 estimate)
5.1% y/y in September 2017 (CPI) & +4.2% y/y in August 2017 (PPI)
2.5% q/q for the 2nd quarter of 2017
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