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UA 282/93 - 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 Mokoena, Buti Moloi, Motlalepule Motloung, Tshepo Sew

, N° d'index: AFR 53/035/1993

Louis Sibeko, general secretary of the Thokoza Civic Association, was arrested in a pre-dawn police raid on his home on 17 August 1993. Eleven others, named above, were arrested shortly after. All twelve are being held at Boksburg Prison udner emergency regulations, which permit detention without charge or trial for 30 days, and access to the detainee is at the discretion of the police authorities. On 19 August a human rights monitor visiting the prison saw police taking Louis Sibeko to a hospital, which police refused to name. He was reportedly suffering pains in the chest and abdomen. The police have reportedly returned him to prison. Human rights monitors are still trying to gather more information about the other detainees.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/35/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 282/93 Legal concern/fear of torture/prisoner of conscience 20 August 1993
SOUTH AFRICA:
Louis SIBEKO, general secretary of the
Thokoza Civic Association
Makgowa Letele
Bushy Boy Machere
Power Makgothi
Lucky Maponya
Gift Moeti Mokoena
Ini Mokoena
Jabu Mokoena
Buti Moloi
Motlalepule Motloung
Tshepo Sewetsang
Buti Thinane
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Louis Sibeko, general secretary of
the Thokoza Civic Association, who was arrested in a pre-dawn police raid on his home on
17 August 1993, and for the safety of eleven others arrested at the same time. All twelve
are being held at Boksburg Prison under section 3(1) of the "Unrest Areas" (emergency)
regulations imposed on Thokoza and a number of other townships to the south east of
Johannesburg. The regulations permit the police to hold a person without charge or trial
for 30 days and access to the detainee is at the discretion of the police authorities.
On 17 August 1993, the police broke into Louis Sibeko's house, searched it, damaging it
in the process, and then took him away. During his interrogation at Nyoni (Vlakplaats)
farm police station near Vosloorus, Louis Sibeko was threatened with assault by several
of his interrogators. The police later took him to Boksburg Prison where he is currently
held. On 19 August a human rights monitor visiting the prison saw him being taken away
by police officers to a hospital which the police refused to name. Louis Sibeko managed
to inform the monitor that he was experiencing pains in the chest and abdomen. Reportedly
the police have returned him to the prison. Louis Sibeko has suffered repeated threats
against his life. He is actively involved in various peace committees and has worked
tirelessly on behalf of victims of human rights violations by members of the security forces
and of armed groups apparently acting with their acquiescence in the Thokoza area.
The eleven others named above were arrested at a number of different residential addresses
in Thokoza shortly after the police arrested Louis Sibeko. Human rights monitors are still
trying to gather more information about these detainees, some of whose homes were damaged
when the police broke in to arrest them.
During the past few weeks the security forces have detained, under the same "Unrest Areas"
regulations, hundreds of mainly young men from Thokoza and other East Rand townships. Human
rights monitors and lawyers have received reports of assaults, torture and gratuitous
destruction of property by the security forces (see, for example, UA 281/93, AFR 53/34/93,
20 August 1993). Amnesty International is concerned at the increasing evidence that the
security forces, in their apparent efforts to clampdown on political violence, are violating
the provisions of international standards which prohibit all forms of cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment even in exceptional circumstances.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Louis Sibeko, general secretary of the Thokoza Civic
Association, who was arrested by members of the Internal Stability Unit on 17 August 1993,
and reportedly threatened with assault by police officers at the Nyoni (Vlakplaats) farm
police station, Vosloorus;
Page 2 of UA 282/93
- expressing concern that Louis Sibeko is being held without charge or trial under the
"Unrest Areas" regulations at Boksburg Prison, and calling for his immediate and
unconditional release as a prisoner of conscience;
- calling for the eleven other detainees named above to be released immediately if they
are not to be charged with a recognizably criminal offence and brought promptly to trial;
- calling for an urgent investigation into the gratuitous destruction of detainees' property
by the police when arresting Louis Sibeko and the other detainees named above;
- urging that all security force members involved in seeking to contain violent conflict
in South Africa's townships should adhere to the provisions of international human rights
standards, in particular the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials,
which prohibit all forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment even in exceptional
circumstances.
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 3232033, +27 12 3265162,
+27 12 323 2456
Salutation: Dear Commissioner
4) Lieutenant-General J F Calitz
Regional Police Commissioner
Witwatersrand, Private Bag X5
Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
Telegrams: Witwatersrand Regional Poice
Commissioner, Johannesburg,
South Africa
Salutation: Dear Lieutenant-General Calitz
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Colonel Steynburg
Prison Commander
Boksburg Prison
Boksburg 1459, South Africa
the following newspapers:
2) The Editor
The Star
PO Box 1014
Johannesburg 2000
South Africa
3) The Editor
New Nation
PO Box 10674
Johannesburg 2000
South Africa
4) Human rights organization:
Independent Board of Inquiry
PO Box 32293, Braamfontein
Johannesburg 2017
South Africa
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 1 October 1993.

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