Latest additions

New Interview - 6th April 2017

An interview with London Recruit, gun-runner Katherine Levine, by her daughter

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Will Gee - My Small Contribution to the Struggle

We are delighted to announce that we have a new story on the website. This has been written by Will Gee, a London Recruit who contacted us after hearing an interview with Mary Chamberlain and Ronnie Kasrils on BBC Radio 4. Will went to South Africa in 1981 with a man named Simon whom we are trying to find.

Warm greetings and welcome to London Recruits - the sensational story of the young men and women who undertook clandestine missions for the ANC during the bleakest years of the apartheid regime. With your help, their gripping tale that remained secret for over 40 years, will come to the big screen for the first time.

Here is a trailer for the film that is now in production

London Recruits trailer from London Recruits on Vimeo.

Trade Union backing for London Recruits from London Recruits on Vimeo.

Interactive Website
A superb, interactive website about the ANC’s “London Recruits” was launched on 6 Feb 2015. Made for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for its “Disobedient Objects” exhibition (now going on a world tour), it mixes interviews with some of the London Recruits with historical footage and reconstructions. It is technically innovative, so please be patient and give it a try. It works best using Chrome as your browser and you need to allow popups. It cannot be viewed on a smartphone.
 This website should prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students, political activists and others. With significant primary source material, it is a truly unique resource.

Left to right, Bob Newland, Ken Keable, Bob Allen, Bill McCaig and Roger O’Hara.

London Recruits – the secret war against Apartheid” , the new book telling the story of the role Liverpool people played in bringing down apartheid is now available in the city’s libraries

It tells of how volunteers from London, Liverpool and other parts of Britain traveled to South Africa in the 1960s and 70s to work secretly for the then banned African National Congress (ANC).

“London Recruits” had its Liverpool launch at a recent event at Toxteth Library when some of the volunteers spoke about their experiences.

A number of copies are available for borrowing from libraries throughout the city


Buy book here

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The Secret War Against Apartheid

Compiled and edited by Ken Keable
With an introduction by Ronnie Kasrils and a foreword by Z. Pallo Jordan

The history of the Anti-Apartheid movement brings up images of boycotts and public campaigns in the UK. But another story went on behind the scenes, in secret, one that has been never told before. 

This is the story of the foreign recruits and their activities in South Africa, how they acted in defiance of the Apartheid government and its police on the instructions of the African National Congress. It tells of:

- ANC Banners that unfurled 
- ANC speeches that sounded through public places
- Buckets that exploded and showered ANC leaflets 
- Transportation of weapons, communications, logistics
- Helping ANC fighters to enter South Africa, 

- and more…..

Many recruits were Young Communists, others were Trotskyists or independent socialists; from the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the USA, and they all took amazing risks. 

Some paid a heavy price for their support. This is their untold story.

Royalties from this book will go to The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

ISBN. 978-0-85036-655-6 - 364 pages, 216 x 138 mm., paperback - Published in February 2012 - Price:£15.95