Dennis Bloem. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Dennis Bloem. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The Congress of the People (COPE) on Thursday said it was "delighted that‚ after 27 long years‚ Kenny Motsamai is at long last out of prison although he was released on parole".

While the release was welcomed‚ the party’s Dennis Bloem called on "the government to release all political prisoners without any further delay".

Motsamai had been in prison since 1989 after being found guilty of murdering a white traffic officer in Rustenburg during an Azanian People’s Liberation Army (Apla)-sanctioned bank robbery in 1989. He was given two life sentences.

At the time he was 26 and had just returned from Ethiopia after military training. Apla was the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).

"It is unfortunate that to get Motsamai released was such a bitter and long struggle. We understand the bitterness of his political party, the PAC, and his family‚" said Bloem.

He said that the PAC had "strongly maintained that the offence for which Motsamai was sentenced was a political operation sanctioned by the party and was not a criminal offence"‚ and that COPE did not think the PAC would "put its credibility at stake to defend a criminal".

TMG Digital reported on Wednesday that Motsamai was being given R40,000 by Katlehong pastor Prophet Mboro to start a car wash.

TMG Digital

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