A former soldier of Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA) – a military wing of the PAC Percy Chipape has been released on parole at the Groenpunt maximum prison near Vereeniging in Gauteng.
His release has sparked a lot of concerns on how former APLA soldiers are treated compared to those of the African National Congress‘s (ANC) MKMVA, as fewer of them are still in prison.
Former PAC president, Motsoko Pheko says this is not fair, adding that the ANC-led government make sure that all political prisoners are released with the same parole conditions.
Chipape was sentenced to 75 years in jail in the early 90s. Pheko says this is disappointing.
“It is painful to me because I was there at the UN in Geneva at the commission on human rights and my job was to campaign or shall I say demand the release of political prisoners – Sobukwe, Mandela, Sisulu, Ngendani, Pokela and all of them. Now you come and find out that the same people that they say they must be released – their government are imprisoning people who fought for freedom.”
Meanwhile, the ANC’s MKMVA has acknowledged that not enough is being done to release all political prisoners. Its president Solly Maphatsoe says consultations are under way to rectify this.
“We would want all those comrades who were arrested for politically motivated activities be released. We have started that process. Fortunately the person who deals with that has arrived, Masechaba Motloung. She is the one who is heading that thing, including expungement of the criminal records.”