U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/1994/31 (1994)(Nigel Rodley, Special Rapporteur).

South Africa

Urgent appeals

478. On 17 August 1993 the Special Rapporteur sent un urgent appeal to the Government on behalf of the following persons: Thabo Sejanamane, coordinator for the non-governmental organization called Mafikeng Anti-Repression Forum; Themba Gwabeni, chairperson, Mafikeng branch of the African National Congress (ANC); Nomvula Hlongwane; Ephraim Motoko; Gordon Kgamanyane and Johannes "Jones" Molefe, all Mafikeng ANC branch executive members.

479. According to the reports, Thabo Sejanamane was arrested at his home by officers of the Bophuthatswana "homeland" security police at about 3 a.m. on 13 August 1993. The police reportedly confiscated documents and reports about the human rights situation in Bophuthatswana. Nomvula Hlongwane, Ephraim Motoko, Gordon Kgamanyane and Johannes Molefe were arrested at their homes by Bophuthatswana security police officers in the early hours of 12 August 1993. Themba Gwabeni was arrested at about 10 a.m. on the same morning at his workplace. It was also reported that lawyers representing the detainees asked the police where they were being held, under what legislation, and the reasons for their detention, but the police did not provide this information or grant lawyers access to the detainees. Relatives had nevertheless been allowed to hand clothing into Mmabatho police station for them. Given the circumstances in which they were being detained, fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

480. In the same appeal the Special Rapporteur brought to the Government's attention information he had received on the arrest, on 17 August 1993, of Louis Sibeko, secretary of the Thokoza Civic Association. Members of the South African Police allegedly burst into his house at Seronyela Street, Thokoza, and took him to the headquarters of the Political and Violent Crime Unit. Fears were also expressed that he might be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

481. Another urgent appeal was sent on 26 August 1993 on behalf of Makgowa Letele, Bushy Boy Machere, Power Makgothi, Lucky Maponya, Gift Moeti Mokoena, Ini Mokoena, Jabu Mokoena, Buti Moloi, Motlalepule Motloung, Tshepo Sewetsang and Buti Thinane. They were reportedly arrested in Thokoza on 17 August 1993, the same date on which Louis Sibeko was also arrested. They were all reportedly being held at Boksburg prison under section 3 (1) of the "Unrest Areas" (emergency) regulations, which permitted the police to hold a person without charge or trial for 30 days and left access to the detainee at the discretion of the police authorities. In view of the circumstances fears were expressed that they might be subjected to torture or ill-treatment.

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