Magazine article The Christian Century

Allan Boesak Begins Prison Sentence

Magazine article The Christian Century

Allan Boesak Begins Prison Sentence

Article excerpt

South African antiapartheid activist and former cleric Allan Boesak began a three-year jail term for fraud and theft May 15 as cheering supporters rallied at the prison. "I go to prison this morning knowing that I am innocent," Boesak, 53, announced outside Pollsmoor Prison. Pollsmoor is the same prison where famed antiapartheid activist Nelson Mandela was held for a portion of his 27-year prison term.

As Ebrahim Rasool, the provincial leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), walked alongside, Boesak was carried to a police station on the shoulders of supporters who say they do not believe he mishandled money donated to help those victimized by the racist polices of apartheid.

On May 12 the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld Boesak's conviction on two counts of fraud and theft involving nearly $200,000 of foreign donations earmarked for victims of South Africa's apartheid regime. The court halved a six-year sentence handed down last year by the High Court in Cape Town.

Boesak protested his innocence on May 14, saying he would remain silent in order to protect members of the ANC, which came to power in 1994 during the first elections open to all races in South Africa. …

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