Renewed appeal for Solidarity with the Boiketlong 4
On the 21st April 2015 the Magistrates Court in Sebokeng sentenced 4 community activists from Boiketlong, to a total of 16 years in prison. The activists are: Dinah Makhetha, Sipho Mangane, Dan Molefe and Pulane Mahlangu. Key witnesses could not even identify the 4 but the courts sought to use the apartheid law of ‘doctrine of common purpose’ to jail them. They were found not guilty of ‘public violence’ but guilty of ‘assault, arson and malicious damage to property’.
Pulane Mahlangu has run away and no one knows where she is or if she is in good health. Either way, she cannot come home.
Dan Molefe died of stress-related illness in December 2017.
Although released for a short period while the appeal process was underway, both Dinah and Sipho are back in prison as they lost the first level of Appeal. The magistrate is prepared to consider shortening the sentence but not the sentence itself. The appeal process remains underway.
There is now an opportunity for a mediated process that may assist in a process of early release. There is an urgent need to cover the costs of mediation which we estimate could come to about R40 000. Appeals have been made to the community to raise funds as well to the broader movement.
What is at stake?
The state has used an apartheid law, the ‘doctrine of common purpose’, to attempt to crush the resistance of the masses. The law of common purpose is deliberately broad so as to be used to target leaders in the community and working class movement. If left unchallenged it extends the attack on the democratic right to protest.