Former agent remembers role

2018-03-28 06:00
Thubisi Segami(67) at the office that he used to serve during Robert Sobukwe’s term.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Thubisi Segami(67) at the office that he used to serve during Robert Sobukwe’s term.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Thubisi Segami (67) shared his experience of being an agent of the late struggle icon and defender of human rights lawyer Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe since June 1976.

According to him, he is one of the proud, although unrecognised, people who played a role in the survival of Sobukwe’s office as an agent.

He said he was the first person to take tip-offs from clients before they came to consult with Sobukwe.

“I am very humbled that Sobukwe granted me the opportunity to play a part in our current liberation by Robert Sobukwe at the time,” said Segami.

According to him, Sobukwe’s office was tapped and wired. Every conversation he had with his clients was recorded at the then Transvaal Road Police Station.

“So, whenever a political client came to his office without seeing me first, he was referred back to my office in Mlimba Street or to Dr Palweniin order to get an update of the procedures to follow while in the consultation,” he added.

Among the rules he needed to acquaint the clients with was their sitting position, and how they had to cross their legs in order to get the warning signs across.

“They had to sit in a specific way so that, whenever the client would start to overstep a boundary during the conversation, Sobukwe could warn him in a subtle manner. They would then know to withdraw the statement.”

According to Segami, he worked as an agent until the police realised his role and started tracking him.

“I was never afraid and always told the police to go ahead with whatever they wanted to do. I was even banned at border gates.

“I remember how I saw my picture at the border gates of Botswana when I attended a wedding in 1993. I knew the police officer, and he put his job on the line to let me through.”

“I was traced through my hand writing and my dompass and then banned.”

The last time he saw his accomplice, Dr Palweni, was in 1978 when he packed his bag and said he was going to Kuruman.

He found a job at the Finch Mine west of Kimberley, and was later recruited to join the National Union of Mineworkers.

He could not attend Sobukwe’s funeral in the Eastern Cape in 1978, as he was prevented by road blocks.re were road blocks and we were turned back on our way and prevented.

“Only the lucky ones who were not recognised managed to attend the funeral,” he said.

“It is my wish for Sobukwe’s former office to be respected. I am happy to learn that it will, from now on, be preserved accordingly.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.