How we got into the embassy

"We just marched out of the Hillbrow Hospital. It wasn't difficult because the guards were getting frustrated being there for eight hours every day, following us to the toilet … following us when we changed our socks. It was quite likely that after five weeks they'd be frustrated to the extent where they would actually relax their guard. So on Sunday night we had taken a final decision that the following morning in our pyjamas of course – we were going to march out of hospital. Then we went to Noord street, where there are a lot of taxis. We behaved like any other ordinary passenger, and took a taxi to Pretoria. Even the other passengers inside didn't realise there was a time-bomb in the taxi us detainees. We changed taxis once we arrived in Pretoria: we said 'please take us to Blackwood Street, where there are embassies'.

Fortunately the driver didn't put two and two together and wonder what these young people in pyjamas were going to do in an embassy. So he just dropped us outside the gate of the embassy. As you have read in the newspapers, it is heavily guarded diplomatic mission.

We pressed the buzzer and expected one of the officials to tell us to fly ourselves. Fortunately, this let us in – we went up to the main gate while they called a diplomat. We told him: 'We are from South African Youth Congress and the United Democratic Front, have got a very important message relate to you. Can you please allow us in? And that is how we got into the embassy …” – By escaped detainee – Ephraim Nkoe

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.


Related stories

Weekly Mail starts Cape Edition

Cape readers will now receive a special edition of the Weekly Mail.

Protest at clamps on ANC funeral

The family would apply to hold the funeral on Sunday or on a day next week.

A long way from home. A small step closer to hope

You have travelled far and suffered much pursuing freedom for your country ... Frederik van Slabbert yesterday

Women land two major SACC posts

Dr Manas Buthelezi of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was last night re-elected president of the SA Council of Churches.

Afrikaans leaders to see ANC

The conference will be hosted by the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in South Africa (Idasa).

Dispute over court president’s ‘bias’

Advocate Martin Brassey noted the seminar was also addressed by Sarmcol's legal team.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Air pollution link in 15% of global Covid-19 deaths

Researchers have found that, because ambient fine particulate air pollution aggravates comorbidities, it could play a factor in coronavirus fatalities

Mboweni plans to freeze public sector wage increases for the...

The mid-term budget policy statement delivered by the finance minister proposes cutting all non-interest spending by R300-billion.

SAA to receive R10.5-billion government bailout after all

Several struggling state-owned entities received extra funds after the medium term budget policy speech

BMW X3 thrives in the M stable

The compact SUV is so at home with its new badge that’s it’s surprising it didn’t happen sooner
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday