Jeremy Patrick Cronin
Synopsis:Deputy General Secretary of SACP, Deputy Minister of Transport, theorist, poet and skilful writer. University Lecturer
Date of Birth:12-September-1949
Location of Birth:Durban,South Africa
Jeremy Patrick Cronin was born on 12th of September 1949 in Durban.he grew up in Cape Town,the son of a naval officer who died when Cronin was ten.he was raised as a Catholic,he graduated in 1966 from St Joseph’s College,then served nine months in navy and enrolled at the University of Cape Town,where he studied philosophy and English,completing an honors degree in 1971.He was inspired by European and America student radicalism in 1968 and intellectually drawn to Marxism,he made contact with the underground Communist Party through journalist Anthony Holiday and joined while a student.his aim was to further both his education and political involvement, he studied for a master’s degree in philosophy in 1972-1973 at the Sorbonne in Paris.
he joined the ANC and was instructed in propaganda techniques by Ronnie Kasrils. he was was spokeperson for the Communist Party,he worked in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and became ANC member of Parliament. he was tried in the Cape Town Supreme Court in September 1976 on charges under the Terrorism and Internal Security Acts. The charges included conspiring with members of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South Aafrican Communist Party(SACP), and preparing and distributing pamphlets on behalf of these organisations.He pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment, which he was to serve in Pretoria Local Prison. Prior to his arrest Cronin was a lecturer in political science at the University of Cape Town and he was due for release in 1983.
On his return to South Africa, Cronin taught at University of Cape Town and with David,Sue Rabkin,secretly disseminated SACP and ANC publications.In March 1977 a brief public outcry followed the government’s refusal to allow him to attend his wife’s funeral.During his imprisonment he wrote a book of poems,Inside,which was published after his release.he become the WCeducation officer and editor of its national journal,Isizwe.During the state of emergency declared in June 1986 he went into hiding, then in late 1987 secretly left SA,moving between London and Lusaka where he worked for the ANC and SACP. He was elected to the SACP Central Committee at the party’s in 1989 Havana conference and he also helped draft policy documents for the ANC’s committee dealings internal political units.
On his return from 1990 in exile,Cronin worked to rebuild the SACP,serving on its 22-member leadership committe as the official party spokesman,and editing the two party journal,the African Communist and Umsebenzi.He was an ANC National Executive Committee 1995.In 1999 he became an ANC member of parliament,in 2009 was appointed deputy minister of transport,and later deputy minister of public works.He co-authored 30 years of the Freedom Charter in 1986 and has published numerous articles and three books of poems.