Ronnie Kasrils fought with the ANC against South Africa’s apartheid regime. Later in life, when he was a cabinet minister in the South African government, Ronnie Kasrils was scorned by Israel and some of his Jewish countrymen when he advised Hamas.
“There are Jews in this country, not just me … who are decrying what Israel is doing … and standing up for Palestinian rights, and then, of course… [we are later] condemned as traitors,” he says.
For many years, Ronnie Kasrils, fought side by side with President Zuma. They worked together to build the ANC intelligence service. When asked for his impression of Zuma, Kasrils responded:
“He is a completely different person. I worked with him when he was in exile from Mozambique and Zambia … I wonder to what degree, at that stage, he had thoughts and ambitions of power and wealth. Because the behaviour from the moment he came back into South Africa, right from the very start 1990 or so, was the acquisition of favours from benefactors, and it just grew and grew out of proportion,” he says.
As Israel, the wider Middle East and his own homeland confront deep existential questions, South Africa’s former intelligence minister, and one of the country’s original freedom fighters, Ronnie Kasrils talks to Al Jazeera.