A banning costs Godfrey R420 a day

Moekoa, a 27-year-old teacher, was served with the restriction order last month on his release after 33 months in detention without trial. He lives with his family in Withoek, a village 70km west of Potgietersrus. However, his restriction order obliges him to report twice daily to the Gilead Police Station, some 150km from his home. He has to re­ port between 1pm and 2pm and again between 5pm and 6pm. The trip can only be made by two taxi rides one to Mahwelereng and another to Gilead.

However, since Gilead is in a remote district the taxi service is poor and the only way Moekoa can be certain of getting there on time is to hire a taxi for himself alone. It would cost him R420 per day. Moekoa lives with his mother at Withoek and is the sole breadwinner in his family. His mother has been receiving a R200 grant from the Northern Transvaal Council of Churches during his detention, and this will continue until he sorts out the problem of his restriction order.

Moekoa has made two applications for his restriction conditions eased. On March 7, he applied to be allowed to report to the Tin Mine Police Station, which is close to his home, rather than Gilead. The police have not replied to that application and lawyers this week made a second urgent attempt to change the order. – Joe Mphahlele

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.

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