Freedom with conditions is not freedom
Twenty-seven years in jail should make any person yearn for freedom – even if it comes with conditions. But not Kenny Doshane Motsamai, a member of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (Apla), the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). Motsamai is serving two life sentences for violent crimes committed during the struggle. He has chosen to stay in jail rather than get day parole and be subjected to electronic monitoring, among other strict conditions.
The PAC lost an urgent high court application to have its comrade released from jail unconditionally.
While his lawyers are searching for the next legal route to take, the PAC and his family are living in hope that he will be released.
The party says the legal route has failed and it is now time to engage on a political solution with the governing ANC to ensure that Motsamai and prisoners like him are released unconditionally and integrated into the country’s military formations.
PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe says: “The conditions [imposed on Motsamai’s release] only apply to Apla members and not other political prisoners. Our members are released from jail but they leave with criminal records, which bars them from getting jobs once outside.
“What kind of freedom [is that] when you [are] denied the right to associate with whoever you want to?”
Motsamai’s partner and the mother of one of his two children, Mantombi Magagula, remains hopeful that he will be released. “We were looking forward to him coming home so that he can experience the love of family, being a husband, a father and a grandfather. But we can’t afford the daily transport from prison to home [on the day parole] since we only survive on my mother’s pension. We hope, though, that he will be freed soon with no conditions.”
– Dumisane Lubisi