PEOPLE & CULTURE
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Factuals: Biography and History Unit
Episode InformationTim Jenkin is an unlikely revolutionary. Breaking from a privileged life in apartheid South Africa, Jenkin placed himself in extreme danger as a young man by volunteering to assist the banned African National Congress. After a dramatic arrest, and even more outrageous prison break, Tim disappeared into the backrooms of the liberation movement. But working from a non-descript London flat , pre-internet, he designed an ingenious secret communications system which enabled operatives to secretly penetrate South Africa’s borders, ultimately smuggling messages to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela. This communication system, built to stoke a war, in the end assisted in bringing about South Africa’s miraculous and peaceful transition.