Twenty innocent men charged with planning a coup against the
president of Congo: evidence was fabricated. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA v7n1 p0517
On Feb 5th, 3013, 19 men were rounded up for a
routine job that was supposed to permit them to go home that night to have
dinner with their families, but because of a series of absurd events, instead
found themselves locked up in Pretoria Central Prison where they remain as I
write this, on May 17, 2013.
The men found themselves forced to put on military uniforms
and were driven to an area one of their captors described as a killing field,
tied to trees, and instead of being shot, were handed over to South African police
with fabricated evidence that they had been spending over a year training in
military camps in order to overthrow the government of the President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo. What else
could the South African police do but charge them with breaking the laws of
South Africa? The South African police were overly enthusiastic: I have been
told the men were tortured into admitting their guilt. I have no independent
evidence of this; but if indeed evidence is given at trial that each man signed
a confession, I can say categorically that every one of them has declared his
innocence to family members and friends who have spoken with them.
I was told by a relative of one of the men charged
that the men believed they were not shot dead because their captors had the
absurd idea that this group of family men included Etienne Kabila.
In the next days, Etienne Kabila turned himself in to the police
in Capetown, 2000km (over 1100 miles) from Johannesburg. The police had
broadcasted widely that they needed to speak to him.
Etienne Kabila claims to
be the true son of the previous President Kabila of DRC; and he certainly
resembles him physically. He further claims that the current President Kabila
is no blood relative; and is in fact a pretender fraudulently elected by ballots that
were not counted or not existent. President
Kabila does not resemble the previous President Kabila. Etienne Kabila has been
locked up with the other 19 in Pretoria Central Prison since his arrest.
The arrested men mostly work in construction, mostly have
lived in South Africa several decades, own property in South Africa. Nearly all
have children who would like to be South African citizens and during their entire lives,
have never lived anywhere else. They love South Africa and expect the South
African judicial system to do what it excels at: throw out this case for lack
of evidence and because of overwhelming evidence that every one of these men
came home to their wives every night for dinner for at least a year or decade
before the arrest.