Savour­ing first taste of free­dom

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NONI MOKATI

AF­TER spending al­most 28 years in prison, po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist and for­mer Aza­nian Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army com­man­der Kenny Motsamai says he isn’t bit­ter.

Yes­ter­day, the 54-year-old walked out of the Boks­burg Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices fa­cil­ity flanked by fel­low com­rades, his wife Man­tombi Ma­gag­ula and the con­tro­ver­sial self-pro­claimed prophet Paseka Mboro.

While he had spent the last six months vis­it­ing his wife’s home on day pa­role, as he walked out of the Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices fa­cil­ity’s of­fice, Motsamai kissed the pave­ment to show he was fi­nally a free man.

Ear­lier in the day, there had been un­cer­tainty on whether he would be frred.

But Pan African­ist Congress and EFF mem­bers came out in full sup­port of his re­lease.

Speak­ing last night, Motsamai re­flected on how it felt be­ing fi­nally home and miss­ing out on two decades of his life.

“So many have asked me what I in­tend to do. My chil­dren have grown. I still want to do plenty for them, but pol­i­tics is my life and I’m still go­ing to carry on… with the sup­port of Mboro, the EFF and PAC,” he said.

The fa­ther-of-three said he was happy to have been re­leased into the hands of his fam­ily and peo­ple who loved him.

While his daugh­ter Busi Ma­gag­ula is an ac­tive EFF mem­ber, the pres­ence of the party raised many eye­brows, with some spec­u­lat­ing whether Motsamai was now chang­ing par­ties.

But he de­nied any talk of this. “The EFF has never ap­proached me to join. Peo­ple have agen­das. There is noth­ing like that. The EFF is loyal to the African peo­ple, to peo­ple like me,” he said.

Motsamai was ar­rested when he was only 26 and con­victed of the mur­der of a white traf­fic of­fi­cer. He re­jects the no­tion that he should have re­morse for what hap­pened in the past.

“No white per­son has ever come back to us and said we were wrong to op­press you. Yet peo­ple ask if I have any re­morse for my ac­tions. We were fight­ing apartheid, an evil regime,” he said.

Motsamai said he also ques­tioned why it took so long for the ANC-led gov­ern­ment to re­lease him.

The po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist now plans to unite the PAC and take his wife to Cape Town for what he says is a long over­due ro­man­tic get­away.

MAK­ING A MEAL OF IT: Newly re­leased Kenny Motsamai en­joys a meal at his home in Katle­hong.

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