Kickstarter launches for Ronnie Kasrils documentary

A new campaign on Kickstarter is trying to raise funds to make a movie about a widely unknown slice of South Africa’s history.

‘London Recruits’, which is based on Ken Keable’s book bearing the same title, wants to tell the story of the young men and women from Britain who undertook secret missions in South Africa aimed at bringing down the apartheid regime.

If you’re in the dark about any of this, here’s the pitch: in the 1960s when the ANC had been outlawed and its leading lights were either in jail or in exile, a group of South Africans were tasked with continuing the fight from abroad in London.

Led by Ronnie Kasrils, the group recruited young British men and women and sent them on missions to South Africa to spread the message that the fight against apartheid was far from over. According to a recent interview in The Guardian, Kasrils said the recruits – who would explode homemade leaflet bombs spreading the message of the struggle – were above suspicion initially, due to the fact that they were white.

“Apartheid, like any racist doctrine, presumed that all white people were natural allies. Hence suspicion was very low with regard to ‘caucasian’ visitors from abroad,” Kasrils told The Guardian.

One of the many interesting aspects of the time London Recruits hopes to reveal, is that many of the agents that Kasrils recruited didn’t know each other’s identities until decades later – when Keable tracked them down for his book.

At the time of this writing, the London Recruits Kickstarter campaign is sitting at around £10,000 of the £40,000 needed before it expires in 60 days. If you’ve ever wanted to donate to a project that may tell you about a part of the struggle that you never knew about, now’s your chance.


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