By Andiswa Flatela
Recapping the story and moving forward:
This is a continuation of the official updates on the campaign. I will summarise what has been communicated for the sake of new members. For further details you can check for the previous official updates in chronological order on the page.
The #FreeAPLAPrisoners Campaign was initiated as a support to a legal strategy to have all APLA combatants released by end of 12 months. It had as it’s primary objectives the following:
1. Gathering data about APLA cadres in jail. Their full names, prison numbers and places of incarceration.
This was so that:
a) the legal team could apply for parole for all the APLA caders.
b) Legal team would later apply for individual presidential pardon when all the APLA forces were out on parole. These would enable the APLA forces to have full access to the Veteran benefits.
2. The campaign to raise funds for funding the legal work. This is key for the success of the campaign. Check the second official update to understand the context.
3.To raise the public awareness about and solicit public support for the APLA freedom fighters that are still in jail.
Attached to these primary objectives were secondary ones that included but not limited to:
4. Providing support to the imprisoned APLA combatants by organising prison visits together with families.
5. Setting up transitional support system for the newly released APLA combatants without families. These would include transitional accommodation, helping with job placements etc.
6. Use the Campaign to expose the fallacy of ‘1994 freedom’ to the broader public by highlighting the contradictions of having APLA freedom fighters jailed in a ‘Free SA’ that they fought to free.
The campaign became functional in its current state from December 2015. In the past 5-6 months of its existence a lot has happened with varying success for the different objectives as stipulated above.
The campaign has received a lot of sympathetic hearing in Black Consciousness and Pan Africanist circles in particular. However, the support has failed to translate to financial value to enable the legal process to run smoothly.
The campaign has also received a tremendous amount of opposition and sabotage, weathering many challenges.This was not unexpected give the issues the it raises. What is worth mentioning is that the challenges came not just from outside (enemy) but also originated from the very same circles one would have expected support. These will be elaborated upon in upcoming updates.
My next post will deal with objective 1, answering some of the questions that maybe in your minds e.g.
– How many APLA freedom fighters are currently still in jail?
– What is ANC goverment justification of keeping these forces in jail?
– Legal implications of applying for a parole
– Legal implications of applying for a presidential pardon.
– How many cases have been brought to court and updates?
– Why the case of comrade Kenny Motsamai seems to be the one receiving most attention?
– What about the other lawyers who would like to offer services on this cause?
Donate, join campaign and follow Facebook page FreeAplaPrisonersCampaign