REMEMBERING A REVOLUTIONARY
Homage to DIMITRI TSAFENDAS
Hero and martyr for the cause of the South African People.
Imprisonned in 1966 for having
killed, in Parliament, the South African Prime Minister, racist idéologist
and pro-Hitler militant, Hendrik Frensch VERWOERD.
For four years he had been tortured seven times a day...
I met him in 1972, he was in the next cell at the Pretoria prison known as "Maximum" or "Berverly Hills". This is where the hangings took place. He was detained as the "State President's patient", which ment complete isolation.
He let himself be considered insane to save his life. But at a moment of confidence he told me in Greek with a little smile of pride: "I got their tough guy".
During the great demonstrations in 1976, it was chanted:
"TSAFENDAS INYANGA YEZIZWE" (Tsafendas healer of the nation)
I saw him again in 1996, he was still behing bars, and I imagine this is where he stayed until the end. When I saw him with my wife, we talked in French, Greek, English and Arabic. He originated for the island of Crete and spent a time in El Atarin in Egypt. He was a quarter Moçambican.
He died in october 1999 and it is only now, in February 2000, that I learnt of his death.
When we had seen him we asked him what he wished. He answered "I want my freedom!"
I regret not having done better for him to get out of there. He deserved a better liberty than the one he got.
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