ANC demands U.S. apology over Sexwale detention

South Africa's governing African National Congress has demanded an apology after Tokyo Sexwale (pictured), a former minister, was held at JFK international airport in the U.S. because he is on a terrorist watchlist.

"The African National Congress condemns the detention of Comrade Tokyo Sexwale by United States of America authorities while on a trip in that country last week," the ANC said in a statement. "Comrade Tokyo Sexwale is a former Minister of a democratic Republic of South Africa, a decorated freedom fighter, activist and leader of our liberation movement, not a terrorist. The very fact that the Government of America continues to view members and leaders of the African National Congress as terrorists is an affront to the global anti-apartheid movement, in which many compatriots from the United Nations including that country`s sitting President, were part of. The African National Congress toiled selflessly with the people of America, despite their government`s opposition at the time, for the liberation of the people of South Africa."

Mr Sexwale was imprisoned along with former South African President and ANC leader Nelson Mandela on Robben Island.

Mandela, incidentally, was only taken off the list by former President George W Bush in 2008.

"In 1966, Resolution 2202 A (XXI) of the United Nations General Assembly, labelled apartheid as a crime against humanity. Both the General Assembly and the Security Council that the United States is a member of regularly condemned apartheid. It is inconceivable therefore that today, the African National Congress and/or its members and leaders, who were at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid, are regarded as terrorists by America," said the ANC.

"This affront on the rights and dignity of Comrade Tokyo Sexwale necessitates an unconditional apology to him and the people of South Africa from the U.S. administration.

"The African National Congress further calls upon the U.S. to remove from its terrorist profiling lists all those included because they fought against apartheid. We would have expected the United States to honour these freedom fighters of our people rather than what is being done to them now."

Image: © Getty

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