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Ronnie Kasrils started off as a script writer for a Johannesburg film studio and then for Lever Brothers, as television and film director for their advertising division in Durban, until 1962. In 1960 he was prompted by the Sharpeville massacre to join the ANC, where he served as the secretary of the ANC-aligned Congress of Democrats in Natal until it was banned in 1962. He became a member of Umkhonto weSizwe as its inception in 1961 and participated in many sabotage operations, some of which were with Eleanor, whom he later married. Pursued by the police, the couple fled into exile in 1963 after her darling escaped from detention. Exiled for 27 years, he was based in London, Luanda, Maputo, Swaziland, Botswana and Lusaka. He worked underground for the ANC in South Africa during Operation Vula. After the first democratic elections in South Africa, Kasrils was appointed Deputy Minister of Defence from 1994 to 1999. He then became Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry from 1999 to 2004 and was appointed Minister of Intelligence Services until he submitted his resignation on 23 September 2008 following former President Thabo Mbeki's resignation in the same month. Ronnie Kasril's extraordinary wife, Eleanor, died at the age of 73.
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