About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Cronin, Jeremy Patrick

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Jeremy Cronin was born in 1949 and grew up in Rondesbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. He attended Marist Brothers, a Catholic school, in Cape Town. He studied at the University of Cape Town, becoming interested in philosophy and left-wing politics. He served in the South African navy for a year, later returning to the University of Cape Town as a lecturer in Philosophy. The death of Rick Turner in the late 1970's sparked Cronin to become overtly politically active, and he became a member of the Radical Student Society, editing their journal. In 1968 he was recruited into the underground South African Communist Party (SACP), and became involved in a Marxist SACP underground cell, working with David and Sue Rabkin. In 1976 he was jailed under the Terrorism Act and spent seven years in Pretoria Central Prison with, amongst others, David Rabkin and Raymond Suttner.

On his release from prison in 1983, Cronin served as a political education officer in the Western Cape of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and editor of the UDF national theoretical journal, Isizwe (The Nation). He became heavily entrenched in the trade union movement. In 1987, in fear of being captured by security police during the state of emergency, he fled the country to London. He spent his time between London and Lusaka working with Joe Slovo and other leading members of the SACP.

He returned to South Africa in the early 1990s. He was deployed to help set up the legal SACP, working from the Johannesburg office of the South African Communist Party (SACP). He served as an SACP delegate at the negotiations process. He currently serves as a member of the Politburo of the SACP and is editor of the party's publications, African Communist and Umsabenzi, and is a member of the ANC's National Executive Committee. He was appointed Deputy General Secretary of the SACP. He is a published poet in his own right.

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