Canadian prisoner might be missing SA exile

2013-09-20 16:16
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ANC holds rally in Soweto

Nelson Mandela was acknowledged during an ANC rally in Soweto attended by President Jacob Zuma. See the pictures.

Johannesburg - DNA results are being awaited to confirm whether a man imprisoned in Canada is the boy pictured carrying Hector Pieterson in June 1976, an official said on Friday.

"I can confirm that we are involved in tracing people who have gone missing during the liberation struggle and yes, Mbuyisa Makhubu could be our latest case," arts and culture department spokesperson Mogomotsi Mogodiri said.

"We are awaiting DNA results to confirm if this person in Canada is indeed Makhuba."

Pieterson was in his early teens when he was shot dead by police during a march by protesting school children in Soweto on 16 June 1976.

He became the subject of an iconic picture taken by photographer Sam Nzima, as he was carried by Makhubu, with Pieterson's sister Antoinette running next to him.

Repatriation process

According to The Star, Makhubu was harassed by security police after the photo was published, forcing him to flee to Botswana and never to return to South Africa.

Mogodiri said that if the DNA matched samples provided by Makhubu's living relatives and his identity was confirmed, a process of repatriation would begin.

"We have been involved in tracing people who have gone missing during the apartheid days, we bring them back dead or alive."

The department had acted on information provided about a month ago. Mogodiri could not reveal by whom.

"The tests are being conducted, the results can come out anytime from now. Once that is final the minister, Paul Mashatile, will make an announcement."

Mogodiri dismissed claims that travel documents were already processed in Makhubu's name.

"Those papers would not be handled by the department of arts and culture. We will cross that bridge once we have confirmed that it is Makhubu."
Read more on:    hector pieterson

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