BRITISH communist Ken Keable was delighted to receive an award on behalf of the “London recruits” from SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande.
The recruits were internationalist volunteers approached in London by liberation movement armed wing leader Ronnie Kasrils to fulfil underground tasks to assist the African National Congress, which was suffering extreme state repression.
Mr Keable was accompanied to the SACP platform by fellow recruits Ian Beddowes, who worked undercover in three of the front-line states, and Bob Newland, who set off leaflet bombs in Johannesburg in 1971 before spending eight weeks on another dangerous mission in 1972.
“Comrades, we were not busybodies interfering in the internal affairs of another country that were none of our business,” Mr Keable told SACP delegates.
“The apartheid system was a crime against humanity and capitalist Britain was up to its neck in the crime.”
He emphasised that “the ideals that motivated us in our youth are now more relevant