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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 167

Paragraph Numbers 13 to 20

Volume 2

Chapter 3

Subsection 2

Banning

13 Banning of persons took place between 1951 and 1990. Its purpose was similar to that of ‘preventive’ detention – to ensure withdrawal from the political arena. The duration of banning orders ranged from one to five years, but an order could be successively applied. The longest period of banning on record is that of Mr Rowley Arenstein, who was banned for twenty-six years from 1960 to 1986.

14 A banned person was restricted to a specific magisterial area. When this area was not the banned person’s home area, the banning order effectively became a banishment order as well. This is what happened, for example, when Ms Winnie Mandela was banished to Brandfort in the Orange Free State in 1977. Similarly, many prisoners leaving Robben Island after serving their sentences were served with orders banning them to remote areas.

15 Banning orders often restricted people’s involvement in organisations, as well as their ability to publish. Banned persons were not permitted to communicate with each other and many orders restricted them from attending social gatherings of more than one person.

16 Banning orders were imposed on social and political activists from all spheres of civil society. In many cases, the Security Branch provided the Ministry of Justice with flimsy and inadequate reasons for bannings. During 1986, a number of successful court challenges were brought against banning orders, on the grounds that the reasons the Minister was required to give under section 25 of the Internal Security Act were invalid. From then on, no banning orders were issued under the Internal Security Act. Instead, use was made of wider powers under state of emergency regulations. Many of those released from state of emergency detention during the 1988–89 period were served with restriction orders.

17 The terms of restriction orders made people vulnerable to attack. In April 1989, United Democratic Front (UDF) activist Chris Ntuli was stabbed to death in KwaMashu, Durban, shortly after reporting to the police station in terms of the restriction order placed on him after his release from emergency detention. All state of emergency restriction orders were withdrawn on 2 February 1990.

18 The Commission heard that Mr Zolile ‘Zollie’ Malindi [CT00510/FLA] received a two-year banning order in 1961, a further five-year order in 1963 and a third order in 1968. The order cost him his job in the Cape Town magisterial district. When he finally found a job, he lived in fear of losing it as police frequently disturbed him at work.

19 Ms Nobuhle Mohapi [EC9997/96PLZ], whose husband Mr Mapetla Mohapi died in detention in 1976, was banned after spending six months in solitary confinement. She told the Commission about the disruption to her family and work:

Then I was released. I took my children from my in-laws. Just a week after I took them, the police came and they arrested me. I had to take my children to my in-laws again and [in] another week I was released again. Thereafter my in-laws preferred that I should leave the children so that they cannot be affected by these removals … The children were attending school at the time but, because I was under a banning order, I was unable to visit them. I … could not escort my little one to school like any other parent … I was unable to get jobs and was labelled as a terrorist … In 1979 I got a job in a furniture shop. I was employed for five days and the police came again at Ellerines where I was working and they took me again. I was paid for the five days that I worked and was told that the job was finished.

20 Submissions describing periods spent under banning orders were also received from Mr George Gangen Poonen [KZN/SELF/098/DN], Ms Mary Turok [CT02912/ GAU], Mr Ben Turok [CT00474/GAU], Mr Christmas Fihla Tinto [CT004771/HEL] and Mr Baderoon Ismail Bakardien [CT01112/SOU].

IN ITS DELIBERATIONS OVER WHAT CONSTITUTED SEVERE ILL TREATMENT, THE COMMISSION HAS INCLUDED BANNING AND BANISHMENT ORDERS. IT IS THUS THE FINDING OF THE COMMISSION THAT ALL THOSE UPON WHOM SUCH ORDERS WERE IMPOSED SUFFERED A GROSS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, FOR WHICH THE FORMER GOVERNMENT AND IN PARTICULAR THE MINISTERS OF JUSTICE AND LAW AND ORDER ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
 
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