Milngavie Library

On a snowy afternoon at the library where the fountain outside, still sprinkled in the fading sunshine I listened to the fascinating story of Elenor Kasrils. She was a remakable woman born in Kilmarnock,’the best Scottish export’ as the Hon Consul Brian Filling described her and most certainly an ‘Unlikely Secret Agent’. An affectionate tribute to his wife, Ronnie Kasrils has written this wonderful tale set in the short period between 1960 to 1963, just after the ‘Sharpville’ uprising that is indelible in all our minds. Her courage was second to none. Most of us have heard of Ruth First, Joe Slovo and other brave South Africans who participated in the struggle against Apartheid but unaware of the silent few who gave so much to the liberation of the majority. Their work together in the Natal province and mainly in Durban achieved massive success against the Apartheid Government as they ducked and dived from the Special Branch and took part in clandestine actions, even involving bombing some government offices and disrupting electricity pylons but never taking any lives.It was a privilege to hear of their life together and to meet the writer a former Minister in the South African government till 2004. The book is a slim paper back but I am sure a sequel would follow.

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