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Further information on UA 282/93 (AFR 53/35/93, 20 August) - South Africa: legal concern / fear of torture / prisoner of conscience: Louis Sibeko, Makgowa Letele, Bushy Boy Machere, Power Makgothi, Lucky Maponya, Gift Moeti Mokoena, Ini Mokoena, Jabu Moko

, رقم الوثيقة: AFR 53/041/1993

All the detainees listed above have been released from detention. Initial charges were later dropped. There is however continued concern at the treatment the group received from police while in detention. There is also concern at the conduct of the district surgeon who examined them and showed no interest in treating their injuries.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/41/93
Distr: UA/SC
10 November 1993
Further information on UA 282/93 (AFR 53/35/93, 20 August 1993) - Legal concern
/ Fear of torture / Prisoner of conscience
SOUTH AFRICA
Louis SIBEKO, general secretary of the Thokoza Civic Association, and:
Makgowa Letele Jabu Mokoena
Bushy Boy Machere Buti Moloi
Power Makgothi Motlalepule Motloung
Lucky Maponya Tshepo Sewetsang
Gift Moeti Mokoena Buti Thinane
Ini Mokoena
All the detainees listed above have been released from detention in Boksburg
Prison. Lucky Maponya, Ini Mokoena and Buti Moloi were charged with possession
of petrol bombs and their case was postponed to 19 November. Jabu Mokoena was
charged with attempted murder and possession of an AK 47 rifle; all charges
were dropped on 14 October. Makgowa Letele was charged with possession of an
AK 47 rifle and his case was postponed until 26 November. Buti Thinane was
charged with murder; the charge was dropped on 5 November. Tragically Buti
Thinane was killed along with family member in an automobile accident on 22
October. All the other detainees, including Louis Sibeko, were released
uncharged.
Although Amnesty International welcomes the releases, it remains concerned
about the treatment the group received from police officers while in detention.
On 8 September 1993 Amnesty International representatives visited approximately
30 detainees at Boksburg prison, including those named above. Amnesty
International representatives heard first-hand accounts of their torture, which
included being slapped and kicked while hooded, and being partially suffocated
with rubber tubing by police officers at Inyoni Farm Police Station.
Furthermore, Amnesty International is concerned about the conduct of the
district surgeon who examined the detainees and showed no interest in treating
their injuries. Members of the United Nations Observer Mission to South Africa
(UNOMSA) visited the detainees at Boksburg Prison on 19 August. All but one
of the detainees complained that they had been tortured, and some were in obvious
need of medical care. When the UNOMSA representatives pointed this out to police
officials, they initially refused to act on the request. After considerable
pressure, Lieutenant-General Calitz agreed to arrange, with an ANC official,
for the detainees to receive medical care. On 28 August family lawyers arranged
private medical examinations for the detainees. The doctor noted a range of
injuries consistent with their allegations of torture including bruises,
2
lacerations, loosened teeth, swollen testes, blood in their urine and injuries
consistent with having been tied with wire or rope. This evidence was submitted
by lawyers to the Johannesburg Supreme Court as part of an urgent application
for a court order restraining the police from assaulting, abusing or threatening
any detainee named in the application for the duration of their detention.
Confronted by the medical evidence, the police consented to the order on 3
September.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send one further round of
telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
- noting the release of Louis Sibeko and other detainees arrested on 17 August
in Thokoza and held at Boksburg Prison under Unrest Areas regulations;
- expressing concern about the gravity of the detainees' allegations of assault
and torture by police officers at Inyoni Farm Police Station;
- noting that appropriate medical treatment for the injuries these detainees
suffered under torture was denied by the district surgeon;
- noting that an independent medical doctor who examined the detainees found
injuries consistent with their allegations of assault and torture;
- urging that a full independent investigation be carried out into these
allegations of torture by police officers, that officers suspected of
involvement in the torture be suspended from duty and promptly brought to justice
in accordance with the Government's obligations under the United Nations
Convention Against Torture.
APPEALS TO:
1) Mr F W de Klerk
State President
State President's Office
Private Bag X83, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: President de Klerk, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321695 SPLIB SA, 321890 PRES SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 3982
Salutation: Dear President
2) Mr H J Kriel
Minister of Law and Order
Private Bag X463
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Minister Law/Order, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321353
Faxes: + 27 12 322 2559
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Lt-Gen J Van Der Merwe
Commissioner of Police
Police Headquarters
Private Bag X94
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Police Commissioner van Der Merwe, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 3-20772 SAPQM SA, 3-20838 SAPOB SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 2033, +27 12 326 5162, +27 12 323 2456, + 27 12 322 0266
Salutation: Dear Lieutenant-General
4) Lieutenant-General J F Calitz
Regional Police Commissioner, Witwatersrand
Private Bag X5
3
Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
Telegrams: Witwatersrand Regional Police Commissioner, Johannesburg, South
Africa
Salutation: Dear Lieutenant-General
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
- Medical Association of South Africa, PO Box 20272, Alkantrant, Pretoria 0005,
South Africa
- Independent Board of Inquiry, PO Box 32293, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 2017
- Peace Action, 603 Longsbank Building, 187 Bree Street, Johannesburg 2001
and to diplomatic representatives of South Africa accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 22 December 1993.

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