At the time of this interview, Jeremy Cronin was the deputy minister for transport of South Africa and an African National Congress member of Parliament, as well as deputy general-secretary of the South African Communist Party. He was appointed as deputy minister of transport in 2009 and had been an MP since 1999. He previously worked on the South African Reconstruction and Development Programme, and he served as deputy general-secretary of the South African Communist Party since 1995. He was a political prisoner under apartheid for seven years, from 1976-1983. A respected poet, Cronin also worked as a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Cape Town in the early 1970s.