EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/30/93
30 July 1993
Further information on UA 170/93 (AFR 53/20/93, 25 May 1993) - Fear of Extrajudicial
SOUTH AFRICA (Bophuthatswana): Solomon (Solly) BOKABA, age 27, President of the
Students Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Bophuthatswana
Amnesty International continues to be concerned for the safety of Solly Bokaba, who
is still being targeted for harassment by the Bophuthatswana Police apparently because
of his leadership position among UNIBO students.
On 22 July 1993 Bophuthatswana Police arrested eight UNIBO students as they were
walking near Temba in Bophuthatswana. The police reportedly asked, "Who is Solly
Bokaba?". He identified himself and he and the others were put in the back of a police
van. The police then drove at high speed, intentionally braking suddenly so that
the students were thrown around in the back of the van. This aggravated injuries
which Solly Bokaba had sustained to his spine during an assault by police officers
on 7 May, and from which he has not yet recovered.
Police held Solly Bokaba in solitary confinement at Temba Police Station and forced
him to sit on the cold stone floor during interrogations, causing him added pain.
Police threatened him and said that "[the assault in] May was a picnic". All eight
students were released from custody on 26 July and charged under the Bophuthatswana
Internal Security Act, apparently for their student activities. However, Amnesty
International believes Solly Bokaba was a prisoner of conscience and called for his
immediate and unconditional release.
This most recent detention of Solly Bokaba follows a pattern of harassment by police
over the last two years. On 25 April he was arrested with four other student activists.
They were held until 30 April by Bophuthatswana Police and then released without
charge. During this time in custody Solly Bokaba was assaulted by police officers
and twice threatened that his "days are numbered". On 7 May Solly Bokaba was treated
in hospital for baton and rubber bullet wounds he received during the brutal assault
by police officers mentioned above. No steps have yet been taken by the Bophuthatswana
authorities to suspend the police officers involved in these incidents or to prosecute
those responsible. Amnesty International is concerned that Solly Bokaba will continue
to be the target of such harassment by police and fears that his life is at risk.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters either in English or your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Solomon (Solly) Bokaba in view of the fact
that he was again detained by police on 22 July 1993 and that he continues to be
targeted for harassment by the Bophuthatswana Police;