Ramaphosa says he’s not an askari – neighbour testified against Lekota

Ramaphosa says he’s not an askari – neighbour testified against Lekota

- President Cyril Ramaphosa refuted Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota’s allegations that he sold out the struggle

- Ramaphosa explained that he was tormented by police but refused to testify against his brothers

- Lekota was arrested around the same time in 1974 but Ramaphosa explained that it was his neighbour who testified against Lekota

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President Cyril Ramaphosa decided to set the record straight following allegations made by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota that he gave evidence against the struggle.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa confirmed that both he and Lekota were arrested in 1974 but refuted the rest of Lekota’s version of events.

Ramaphosa was chairman of the South African Students’ Organisation branch and they marched to the Mankweng Police Station, along with the SRC.

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The Citizen reported that he was then arrested and placed under solitary confinement for 6 months.

When police eventually spoke to him, it was a vicious interrogation.

They demanded evidence from Ramaphosa against all the others arrested, including Lekota, but he refused.

Ramaphosa’s father was a police officer and the state tried using him to sway his son, but Ramaphosa still refused.

He went on to add that he couldn’t betray those closest to him and it would have had implications on where he would be able to live as well.

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He was then transferred to Silverton Police Station, where he came across his neighbour, who was detained as well.

Ramaphosa refused to divulge the identity of the neighbour but this was when he revealed to the president that he was turning state witness.

Briefly.co.za understands that Ramaphosa’s neighbour suffered a great deal as a result of these events.

He proceeded to give evidence against Lekota and they were sentenced, but Ramaphosa released.

Ramaphosa said, “Police wanted three things from you: you either cooperated, or became an askari (traitor) and killed your comrades, or you became a paid agent.”

He refused all of the 3 options and vowed to never betray his people.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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