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Frank Chikane describes the last time he saw Neil Aggett alive in police custody

21 January 2020 11:27 AM
Tags:
Frank Chikane
TRC
Anti apartheid activist Neil Aggett
John Vorster Square police station
Reverend Frank Chikane
Dr Neil Aggett
Neil Agget inquest

Struggle stalwart Frank Chikane was detained at the same time as Dr Neil Aggett. He recalls how brutally they were treated by police.

Anti-apartheid struggle activist Reverend Frank Chikane says Dr Neil Aggett was in very bad shape and struggling to walk the last time he saw him at John Vorster Square police station in 1982.

Aggett died in police custody. His body was found hanging in his cell after 70 days of detention without trial.

His death was ruled to be a suicide but it left many unconvinced.

The last time I happened to see Dr Aggett, he was in real bad shape. I saw him walking down the corridor with police and he was actually struggling to walk.

Reverend Frank Chikane, Anti-apartheid activist and ANC stalwart

They took him to his cell and that was the last time I saw him.

Reverend Frank Chikane, Anti-apartheid activist and ANC stalwart

Chikane was detained in the cell next to Aggett at John Vorster Square, known for police brutality and torture.

The truth that has to be unpacked is what happened to him before that story about the hanging. That's where the truth will come in.

Rev Alan Storey, Methodist minister at the Central Methodist Mission

A new inquiry into the death of Aggett, who was a medical doctor and trade unionist, commenced on Monday.

RELATED: Apartheid-era police will be subpoenaed to testify in Neil Aggett inquest

Chikane saw Aggett during the last week of his life and had previously submitted an affidavit to the first inquest that was held in 1982 under the watch of magistrate Pieter Kotze.

We ended up at John Vorster Square. We were in the same L-shaped corridor of cells.

Reverend Frank Chikane, Anti-apartheid activist and ANC stalwart

During that particular time, two people died in detention. Ernest Dipale and Dr Neil Aggett.

Reverend Frank Chikane, Anti-apartheid activist and ANC stalwart

Chikane survived an assassination attempt when police poisoned his clothes.

I call myself a miracle, actually. To have survived the poisoning the way it was planned, you must be a miracle.

Reverend Frank Chikane, Anti-apartheid activist and ANC stalwart

He was detained on several occasions during his years of activism. Every time police arrested him, Chikane says at least two people were killed in detention.

All of us were being taken during the night and day; we'd go for torture and come back; interrogation, then come back. We all went through that experience.

Reverend Frank Chikane, Anti-apartheid activist and ANC stalwart

Listen to Rev Chikane's account on Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto:


21 January 2020 11:27 AM
Tags:
Frank Chikane
TRC
Anti apartheid activist Neil Aggett
John Vorster Square police station
Reverend Frank Chikane
Dr Neil Aggett
Neil Agget inquest

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