Mandela also insisted to the Apartheid authorities that if they don’t release Masemola he (Mandela) wasn’t going to go out. Six months after his release, Masemola died in a mysterious car accident. If Mandela insisted on the release of Masemola, why do the media not celebrate the anniversary of the release of Masemola every October? And why did he die six months after being released after spending 26 grueling years on the Island?
Let us also remember what Mandela wrote in his autobiography; Long Walk To Freedom. He said after his release from Robben Island, he was taken to Pollsmor prison where he was bought a suit and a pair of shoes. He started negotiating with representatives of the Apartheid government at that time. As Mothopeng aptly put it, prisoners are not free to negotiate. But here was a prisoner negotiating with his jailers. He had secret meetings with people like PW Botha and members of the previous government’s secret services. He was taken to the beach and was spotted by a former Robben Islander who knew him and was immediately whisked away by a white police officer.
This is a person whose release from prison we are supposed to celebrate more than those of people like Masemola who spent 26 straight years on Robben Island without the luxury Mandela enjoyed, including staying in a house at Victor Verster prison with access to a phone, a fax and a cook. It is from this relative luxury that he was released and we are supposed to celebrate the anniversary of that release. This colossal fraud should never be celebrated.
By Sam Ditshego