Spymaster: Barry Gilder launches struggle book

2012-09-06 00:00

BARRY Gilder, director of Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, last night launched his book Songs and Secrets in Durban.

The autobiographical book is a personal exploration of the ANC from liberation movement to government.

It follows Gilder into the ANC’s military camps in Angola; to Moscow for intelligence training; to the underground in Botswana and into leadership positions in the intelligence services and administration of the new government. It unpacks the often ignored conditions in which the ANC government had to try to turn apartheid around.

The book investigates the personal, political, psychological and historical realities that gave birth to the new South Africa. It recalls the small and big events that marked the author’s journey through the three decades of history that led South Africa and the ANC to the challenges they face today.

Gilder was born in 1950. He went into exile in 1976 and during the time composed and sang struggle songs at anti-apartheid events in Europe and elsewhere.

He served in the ANC’s intelligence structures until his return to South Africa in 1991.

He was deputy director-general of the SA Secret Service from 1995 to 1999 and was deputy-director general of operations of the National Intelligence Agency from 2000 to 2003, when he was appointed DG of the Department of Home Affairs.

In 2005 he was appointed co-ordinator for intelligence, a post he held until his retirement from government at the end of 2007.

He currently directs operations at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, a policy think-tank set up by former senior leaders in the government.

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