Last year the Review of African Political Economy published a Special Issue on the South African revolutionary Ruth First. From her early teens Ruth was involved in the struggle against apartheid. In exile she became a startling analyst of Africa’s independence and the continents attempts at radical transformation. Below is the editorial to the issue.

‘The assassination of Ruth First by letter bomb in Mozambique in 1982, through the agency of the South African apartheid state, sent shock waves of horror through the Left in both Africa and Europe. Ruth had been a political worker since her early years, a communist active in the struggles to overthrow apartheid and capitalism in South Africa, imprisoned by the regime and forced into exile. She was particularly important to the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE) as she had been one of the founder members of the journal back in 1973, during her exile from her homeland. Fearless, passionate and always politically engaged, she took up a post on an interim basis in 1977 at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo during its heady post-independence days under FRELIMO (the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique)…’

Gavin Williams, Leo Zeilig, Janet Bujra and Gary Littlejohn