Elevator version of the story of why the Congolese 20 were imprisoned in Feb 2013. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2013 v7n1 p0610
Kabila, the brother of the president of Congo, has been
caught in a trap that was set with the goal of him being sent back to Congo to be shot as a traitor.
South African undercover police scammed
and kidnapped 19 men, who were on Feb 5 arrested by uniformed South African police; and with fabricated evidence, used international
media to get the 20th man, Etienne Kabila, to give himself up.
The South African
undercover police caught 18 of these men in this trap, with promises of government contracts to train as and work as
anti-rhino poaching security guards. The 19th man is an American citizen who is a son of Congo, James Kazongo, who flew from Delaware to substitute for Etienne Kabila and was kidnapped with the 18, and arrested with them.
The Congolese 20 are being abused in prison. I visited them in Pretoria Central Prison on May 21 and May 28.
James Kazongo was attacked in his cell by 3 guards on May 22, and beaten so savagely his leg was broken. The food is inedible, James is severely vitamin deficient and has already lost more than 30% of his normal weight.
The human faces of the Congolese 20: victims scammed by South African undercover police. MJoTA 2013 v7n1 0524 click here
Call for prosecutors to drop charges against Congolese 20 and charge the South African undercover policemen who kidnapped and scammed the Congolese 20 and are scamming the South African judicial system click here
James Kazongo beaten up by guard, falls in court. p0523 click here
Aug 1st, 2013: the men were brought before a judge in Pretoria. On July 31 2013, MJoTAtalks hosted a broadcast on BlogTalk Radio: to listen to good wishes sent from friends of the Congolese 20 to South Africa, a discussion of the case, what is happening in Congo, what is happening in South Africa: click here |
Summary of the story of imprisonment of the Congolese 20. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2013 v7n1 p0610
Laurent Kabila was assassinated in 2001. Immediately, the head of the army was
installed as the president of Congo. This man, Joseph Kabila, is widely
reported to be Rwandan, born in 1971, and to have been adopted by Laurent
Joseph Kabila remains
president, winning 2 elections in 2006 and 2011. Laurent Kabila is
reported to have a first-born son, Etienne Kabila, born to Francoise in
1965 in Tanzania. Laurent's relationship with Francoise was over before Laurent became president of Congo in 1997.
Since his father's assassination in 2001, Etienne tells me he has been a target. He showed me scars on his head; his mother fled to Australia.
imprisonment of the Congolese 20 appears to have resulted from Joseph
Kabila wanting to get rid of his brother once and for all.
has been living in Capetown since 2005 with his wife and 4 children. He
told me he has affidavits from his employer where he works as a
security guard, from his landlord, from his neighbors. He was never in
the military, his education was in finance.
In Sep 2012 Chadrian Kilele
was told by his nephew that some men from the South African government
knew he knows Etienne Kabila, and wanted a meeting with Etienne Kabila
because they wanted to give Etienne money.
Etienne traveled 2,000 km to
Johannesburg in Sep, but the meeting did not take place, and then a second
time on Oct 10.
During the meeting, Etienne decided these men were crooks
and were not going to give him money, and broke off his relationship
From Oct to Jan, Chadrian was sent emails by these
South African government officials, saying that they now wanted to set
up an anti-rhino poaching training camp, offering larger and larger sums
All Chadrian had to do was bring in Etienne to receive and
distribute the money and act as leader. Etienne refused all contact with
Chadrian, so Chadrian started looking for a substitute, and found James Kazongo
living in Delaware with his wife and 3 small sons.
In Jan 2013,
James filed his 2012 tax returns, and with the early refund, did as he
was told, which was not tell anyone where he was going or why, paid for a
return ticket to South Africa, arriving
in Johannesburg in Jan 24 by KLM, with an expected return flight of Feb
On Feb 3, James, Chadrian and his younger brother Jeff Kilele
met in a restaurant with the South African government officials. Jeff
tells me James was angry because the officials told James he had to
travel with them to Limpopo to receive the money.
On Feb 4, the
officials and 19 of the Congolese 20 gathered together for the trip to
Limpopo. Jeff tells me the officials had a car had a sign saying
"anti-rhino poaching", and they had guns. They looked extremely
official, according to Jeff, whose last day at a factory making rubber
boots was Jan 28.
After a long trip, the mood of the officials
changed. All cell phones were confiscated, the men were told not to
leave the campsite or they would be shot dead, they were made to sign
confessions about them being involved in a coup at gunpoint, and were
made to put on military uniforms and brandish weapons.
morning, Feb 5 2013, the men told me they heard a lot of gunshots, and the official South African police
arrested the 19, and sent out reports that Etienne Kabila was wanted.
Feb 8, 2013, Etienne turned himself in after he read that he was wanted
on reports from Agence France.
May 23 was the 8th court hearing. The men have not been defended in court a single time.
men had a first lawyer, Johan Koetze, who was paid 20,000 rand from
money borrowed by 2 of the wives. The lawyer did not interview any of
the men; and to the bail hearing in March, he sent 2 student lawyers who
were unfamiliar with the case, and unfamiliar with South African law.
The men told me that the lawyer later told the men he had been
intimidated and offered a large sun of money to make sure they are found
The second lawyer Ubertus Joubert was similarly paid
20,000 rand; on the day before the May 23 hearing I was sitting with one
of the wives when he called her and told her that if he
wasn't given 14,000 rand immediately he would not be serious at the
hearing. I found out later that he had already contacted the judge to
ask for a postponement. A wife told me this week he has now demanded
140,000 rand immediately to keep going
I visited Legal Aid in
Johannesburg. A young lawyer listened intently, took notes, gave me her
card. The email address did not work.
Etienne had a Legal Aid lawyer,
who was going to represent him in court at a hearing in May 29. Three
days before he wrote to the Legal Aid lawyers and asked if he would work
with Ubertus. The legal aid lawyer wrote back to Etienne that he had to drop
Etienne because Legal Aid is for the poor who cannot afford
representation. Etienne told me that Legal Aid lawyers are crooks and
are paid for by Joseph Kabila.
The main problem at the moment is
legal representation, and being caught in a legal system that looks like
it will spare no expense to get them convicted and sent to Congo
to get shot.
men are in prison because they believed representatives of the South African government wanted to give them jobs, in a country in which the World Bank says unemployment is officially 25%, but more likely around 40%.
The men have remained in prison because the prosecutors, the defense lawyers, the judges, and the mainstream media have happily believed faked evidence.
believe that Legal Aid is out to get them. I don't know. They may be
I do know they need lawyers who believe them and are not