Jeremy Cronin was born in 1949, the son of an officer in the South African Navy. His childhood was spent in various naval bases, most especially Simonstown. After his father’s death the family moved to Rondebosch where he went to school. He later completed degrees at UCT and in Paris.
Cronin returned to Cape Town in 1974 and lectured in the philosophy and politics departments. He was arrested in July 1976 and charged under the Terrorism Act for several years. In sentencing him to seven years the judge said: ‘So far as you are concerned Cronin, I get the impression from the political statement you made from the dock yesterday that you are quite unrepentant. I do suppose that the prison sentence I am going to give you is going to reform you.’
He spent most of his sentence in various security prisons in Pretoria, including three years in amongst death row prisoners in the notorious Pretoria Maximum jail. During his sentence his wife unexpectedly died. Love poems for her form part of this collection of poems from prison.
Cronin was released from jail in May 1983 and is now living in Cape Town.
Click to read Inside by Jeremy Cronin