This insider’s account of the workings of Umkhonto We Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, during the underground years, is a modern-day story of intrigue and cunning in the fight against apartheid. The white author begins by describing his involvement with the South African Communist Party and the underground resistance within South Africa in the 1950s and early 1960s. Following the arrests of Mandela and other ANC leaders he fled into hiding overseas, became one of the key commanders of Umkhonto We Sizwe and was responsible for setting up training camps in Tanzania, Cuba and elsewhere.
Kasrils became notorious as the ‘Red Pimpernel’ as he slipped in and out of South Africa in a plethora of disguises to run secret missions, narrowly escaping arrest and detention in several close shaves with security forces. After the legalizing of the ANC and SACP, he returned to Johannesburg to take up a position on the National Executive Committee. The story culminates with the disastrous march on Bisho in the Ciskei homelands in September 1992, when police opened fire on the crowd that Kasrils was leading and a massacre ensued.