Mandela, The Official Exhibition – Special Trade Union Day 3/4/2019

ON APRIL 3, in recognition of Trade Union support for the Anti-Apartheid Movement, every union member (and a guest of their choosing) is invited to visit free.

Poster for "Mandela: The Official Exhibition". Black and white photo of Mandela with arm raised. Mandela is on the left hand side of the poster. The words "Mandela, the official exhibition" are printed in white and yellow at centre right, "Free admission for all trade union members" is printed at the bottom, in yellow on blue.

To enable working people to attend, opening hours will be extended until 8pm (last entry at 6:30pm).

From 6pm, there’ll be a book signing (London Recruits: The Secret War Against Apartheid, edited and compiled by Ken Keable) and a short talk (from 7pm) by two of the original London Recruits, Pete Smith (NEU) and Ken Keable (UNITE), followed by a Q&A and refreshments.

To attend on April 3 for free, simply mention your Union at the Front Desk.
To attend the talk or late opening (from 6pm), register at Eventbrite

If you can’t make it on April 3, there’s a special discount code, LR1250 that will be valid with any booking made through

Season’s greetings from the London Recruits team!

Season’s greetings from the London Recruits team!

2017 has been a great year for London Recruits. We’ve discovered and restored never before seen archival film from private collections worldwide, uncovered historical reports of the London Recruits activities from major UK and South African newspapers, recorded and edited all core interviews with key figures and voices in the story, secured investment and further production funding, raised the profile of the project at several key events throughout the year and welcomed Robyn Slovo to the London Recruits team as Executive Producer. The New Year will see reconstruction scenes shot and then on to post-production.

All of above would have been quite impossible without you – so a big thanks from all of the London Recruits team for getting us this far!

London Recruits Film – Robyn Slovo, acclaimed producer, joins the team

The following information is from The Morning Star newspaper:

“ACCLAIMED producer Robyn Slovo is joining the team to tell the “spellbinding” tale of the brave young Brits who helped topple apartheid, Welsh production company Barefoot Rascals announced yesterday.
The Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy producer, whose father Joe led the South African Communist Party during the final years of white racist rule, has signed up as an executive on London Recruits, bringing their heroism to the big screen in 2018.
The volunteers, initially recruited in London from the Young Communist League or as students from the LSE by Ronnie Kasrils from the late 1960s onwards, risked their lives in undercover missions in apartheid South Africa.
Able to escape racist coppers’ attention because of their white skin, they let off “leaflet bombs”# and tape recordings on behalf of the ANC, buoying the morale of the anti-apartheid forces. Three were captured, tortured and imprisoned for their efforts.
Ms Slovo said she was “delighted” to be a part of the film.
“London Recruits is a spellbinding thriller of espionage, death-defying missions and bravery told for the first time,” she said.”

Read original article here

# Newham NEU (NUT Section) changed original text from “letter bombs” to “leaflet bombs” to remove ambiguity and better reflect the intention of the London Recruits organisation.

Thanks to The Morning Star for the use of its report.
“The Morning Star – The only English-language socialist daily newspaper in the world, published six days a week.”

The Morning Star is a reader-owned cooperative.

It also uses a fighting fund and needs donations from supporters.The Morning Star. The People's Daily. Title logo.

New honour for London Recruits

The South African Communist Party, at its congress in Boksburg, (…) honoured the London Recruits with its Special Recognition Award. Ken Keable went to the congress, as a guest, to accept the award on behalf of all the Recruits and was introduced by Ronnie Kasrils.

Here is the text of his speech
Download [▼]

Newham Teachers’ Association offers its thanks to The Morning Star for the use of its London Recruits article 14/08/2017

The NTA has a webpage for the London Recruits on this website:


London Recruits – Thanks to NUT For Support

The NUT Annual Conference gave time and support to the new London Recruits Film that is to be released soon. A book signing session sold copies of the London Recruits book and a bucket collection raised £2000+ towards the film production costs.

The London Recruits Film Team offers their thanks:

Ronnie Kasrils is a former South African Freedom Fighter and then Minister. He worked with the London Recruits in the struggle to overthrow apartheid.

Morning Star Newspaper Features London Recruits

The Morning Star newspaper gave a front page billing, with photo, to the London Recruits.

Inside the newspaper, on page 13, Gordon Main wrote a brilliant 3 column, full length article about the London Recruits and the upcoming movie.

Peter Smith, NTA Secretary and former London Recruit, was interviewed and a photograph of him from that era was featured.

The Morning Star has been a staunch supporter of the London Recruits story, the book and the film.

The NUT Annual Conference gave time and support to the story and ran a trailer of the upcoming film.

Gordon Main and Pete Smith photographed with a copy of the Morning Star and with NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney.
Gordon Main (right) and Pete Smith (left) photographed with a copy of the Morning Star and with NUT General Secretary Kevin Courtney (centre).

Morning Star PDF
Download [▼]

Thanks to the Morning Star for the pdf and their support. Thanks to the NUT Annual Conference organisers for their support. Special thanks to Kevin Courtney for his support and encouragement.

London Recruits at NUT Annual Conference

Over 1000 delegates were in the assembly hall at the end of a morning’s session of the NUT Annual Conference, when the London Recruits trailer was played alongside a message of thanks from Ronnie Kasrils, London Recruits organiser.

There was a bucket collection to assist with film funds, representative of the incredible support for the London Recruits film project from the labour movement and unions including the NUT who have really got behind it.

Film maker James Barrett said “We are as ever indebted for their support and encouragement.”

NUT Annual Conference 2017. London Recruits Film event with Kevin Courtney (centre), Peter Smith (left) & Gordon Main, film maker (right).
NUT Annual Conference 2017. London Recruits Film event with Kevin Courtney, Peter Smith & Gordon Main.

Newham Teachers’ Association Secretary, Peter Smith, helped organise the event alongside Gordon Main, film maker. Kevin Courtney, NUT General Secretary supported the event.

Kalushi – South African Freedom Fighter

On Thursday 6th April 2017 I attended the BFI showing of the film Mandla Dube’s “Kalushi” covering the life and execution of South African freedom fighter Solomon Mahlangu:

and do not forget to watch the news following the trailer.

It is a simple construction of the short life of Solomon told in such a way by film that it becomes a crystal clear reminder of the objective of the armed struggle conducted by MK [uMkhonto we Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, “Spear of the Nation”); the armed wing of the ANC] when you look at the events in South Africa today.
Poster for screening of Kalushi film.It has the advantage of using young South African black actors to tell the story of the lives of young South African black people of that time and for me directed the emotions involved in a positive political way in that I have no doubt it will help the young black people of South Africa find their way forward today.
The colonial law, guilt by association, used to impose the death penalty on Solomon is still South African law today is stated in writing at the end of the film.
Kalushi poster
Download [▼]

Peter Smith, NTA Divisional Secretary. One of the London Recruits
and demobbed from MK in 1997 following twenty years of assistance.