Jeremy Cronin

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Jeremy Cronin
Deputy Minister of Public Works
Assumed office
12 June 2012
Deputy Minister of Transport
In office
11 May 2009 – 12 June 2012
Succeeded by Lydia Sindiswe Chikunga
Personal details
Born (1949-09-12) 12 September 1949 (age 69)
Nationality South African
Political party South African Communist Party
Other political
African National Congress
Residence Cape Town, South Africa
Alma mater University of Cape Town (BA)
Sorbonne University (MA)

Jeremy Cronin (born 12 September 1949) is a South African writer, author, and noted poet. A longtime activist in politics, Cronin is a member of the South African Communist Party and a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress.[1] He presently serves as the South African Deputy Minister of Public Works.[2]

Early life[edit]

Cronin was brought up in a middle-class white Roman Catholic family in Rondebosch in Cape Town, South Africa. During adolescence he considered the idea of entering the priesthood. After a year's military service, which he spent conscripted in the South African Navy, in 1968 Cronin won a bursary to study at the University of Cape Town, where he became a member of the Radical Student Society and was subsequently recruited into the (banned) South African Communist Party (SACP).

In the early 1970s, Cronin studied his masters in Philosophy in France and returned to South Africa, where he began lecturing in the Philosophy department of the University of Cape Town.

Activism and imprisonment[edit]

Cronin's work in the propaganda unit of the SACP brought him to the attention of the South African Bureau of State Security; he was arrested on charges under the Terrorism and Internal Security Acts and tried in the Cape Town Supreme Court in September 1976. The charges included conspiring with members of the African National Congress (also a banned organisation) and the SACP, and preparing and distributing pamphlets on these organisations' behalf. Cronin pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment (1976–1983), which he served in Pretoria.[1] His wife Anne Marie died of a brain tumour during his imprisonment.


Cronin's first book of poetry, Inside, was published in 1984 following his release from prison.[3] He has recently published a new collection of his poetry, titled More Than A Casual Contact (2006). He wrote a poem called Motho Ke Motho Ka Batho Babang.

Collected poems[edit]

  • More than a Casual Contact (2006)
  • Inside and Out (1999)
  • Even the Dead: Poems, Parables and a Jeremiad (1997)


Following Cronin's release from prison he began working with the United Democratic Front (UDF) founded in 1983 where he worked as the editor of its theoretical journal called Isizwe (The Nation). He was also involved in various kinds of popular education, but in the late 1980s, increased harassment from the security forces forced him and his wife to leave South Africa and move first to London, and subsequently to Lusaka in Zambia, where he worked closely with Joe Slovo for the ANC/SACP alliance. He delivered the Chris Hani memorial lecture titled Why South Africa will never be like Zimbabwe in Durban on 4 May 2008.[4] On 10 May 2009, President Jacob Zuma appointed him Deputy Minister of Transport.

Political Writings[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jeremy Cronin Who's Who
  2. ^ "Changes to National Executive and South African Police Service" (Press release). Government of South Africa. 12 June 2012. Archived from the original on 23 June 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  3. ^ Jeremy Cronin Archived 4 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine. Random House
  4. ^ Why South Africa will never be like Zimbabwe Chris Hani memorial lecture 4 May 2008