Veronica Ford ( ‘Jill’ )
In the Spring of 1970 I was 22 years old, near to finishing my degree at the University College of Swansea and living with my then-boyfriend Hugh Pearce (‘Jack’). We were both active in many left-wing campaigns, particularly against the war in Vietnam and against apartheid.
We were beginning to consider what we wanted to do when we left University in the summer. I was very interested in going to Botswana to teach at a Secondary school which was trying to implement radical social and educational policies. But I had also been offered a place at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to do an MA in Southern African studies. I was wrestling with this choice when Ruth First came to Swansea to speak at a Socialist Society meeting about the struggle for Independence in Angola. After the meeting I got chatting to Ruth and she seemed interested in the possibility of our going to live in Botswana. She asked to meet Hugh and myself the next day, and then asked us if we would be willing to go to Botswana as planned, but to also work for the ANC while we were there. And so the choice was made, really quite easily, and it is a choice which I have never ever regretted.