Allegations against me have put my life in danger, Kasrils tells court

Former intelligence minister says he has to behave the way he did pre-democracy

Allegations against me have put my life in danger, Kasrils tells court

23 August 2016

Pretoria - Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils says since being called counter-revolutionary and an enemy of the state he has had to change his behavioural patterns to remain safe.

"I now have to behave the way I did pre-democracy. My life has been altered," Kasrils told the Pretoria High Court.

"I have to be careful about how I talk on the phone and the visits I'm making."

He told the court that false accusations made against him had put his life in danger and he had noticed that people were surveying him.

"There are signs of being surveyed. I'm not rushing to judgement or being paranoid to say it's a certain organisation doing this, but I have noticed this. There are no concrete facts, but suspicion is that I'm under surveillance," he said.

Kasrils is suing Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) head Kebby Maphatsoe for R1m for defamation. Central to the case is President Jacob Zuma's rape trial.

At the time that the charges were laid against Zuma, Maphatsoe and other ANC officials maintained that Zuma was the victim of a "honey trap" - and that the woman was sent to seduce Zuma.

Credibility in question

Zuma was acquitted. He maintained afterwards that he was the victim of a plot.

In 2014, before the national elections, Kasrils and former deputy health minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge spearheaded a campaign called "Sidikiwe! Vukani Vote No!", in which they urged South Africans to vote for a minority party or spoil their ballots.

Maphatsoe spoke out against the campaign and reportedly said the plot against Zuma had come from the intelligence ministry. He said Kasrils, who was intelligence minister at that time, had "handpicked the woman who alleged Zuma had raped her".

He reportedly claimed that Kasrils had "sold out to foreign agencies" and was hostile to Umkhonto weSizwe operatives who had been dismissed from service.

Kasrils said that to be called a counter-revolutionary in left wing politics was the deepest insult one could make. He said that it had resulted in people questioning his credibility and that of his books.

"Being called an enemy of the people is on par with being counter-revolutionary. I moved my retirement home from Cape Town because my wife felt it was too vulnerable. As someone who is proud of my reputation, this has been very hurtful. There has been a negative impact. I earn my living on being invited to give talks relating to my writing. I have noted that in the last two years that has dried up," he said.

He told the court that he had received veiled threats, which he was taking seriously.

This article first appeared on News24, see here