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APLA political prisoners still languishing in jail, some released

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The PAC says it does not know how many of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA) operatives remain in the country’s jails 24 years into democracy.

Kenneth Mokgathle, who is the Spokesperson for the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) told Political Analysis South Africa on Thursday, 3 May 2018 that it is difficult to determine how many APLA prisoners are still in jail.

“We are witnessing some of them being released, but it’s very difficult to trace who’s being released and who’s not being released because the Department of Justice and Correctional Services does not adequately communicate with us as the PAC,” he said.

“The people who are taken seriously are Eugene de Kock and other white political prisoners, who in fact are not political prisoners, they are murderers…some of them never wanted the new dispensation,” he added.

Earlier this year, former APLA commander, Kenny Motsamai was released on parole after serving 27 years in prison for killing a white traffic police officer in 1989. He was, however, re-arrested soon afterwards for violating his parole conditions after he was seen at a protest at the Department of Military Veterans.

Mokgathle says that after being released, most former APLA operatives are left with criminal records and are unable to take care of themselves financially.

He added that they [former APLA operatives] are, “not given military status or veteran status to benefit as military veterans who are benefitting. They’re are still being regarded as criminals and therefore they inherit criminal records, which makes it difficult for them to have access to job opportunities…to ensure that they can sustain their lives.”

The Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services, Kagiso Moleme, told Political Analysis South Africa on Thursday, 3 May 2018 that Minister Michael Masutha is currently looking at ways to release APLA operatives who are still in jail, on parole, while the Presidency considers possibilities of pardoning them.

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