Hunger or Unconditional Release

Life of struggle has been my only known reality
From conception, my life has been one battle after another
Birth and growing up introduced me to impoverishment
As I adjusted to impoverishment I realised that I was also oppressed and landless
Enslavement, colonialism and apartheid marked my total African experience and reality

Oppression no more, I wanted a new, free reality in Azania, the land of my birth
Izwe lethu, iAfrika, free the land, free the people, free Azania, free Afrika
Come what may, I decided to join the fight for Afrikan people's liberation
I was ready for life in freedom or death, whilst fighting for freedom
I got neither freedom nor death, all I got was life in an apartheid jail
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5 years in an apartheid jail cell, under settler thieves was difficult to deal with
22 years under an Afrikan government, in jail, serving the same sentence, unbelievable
What crime? Joining the PAC and fighting apartheid, a crime against humanity
Risking my life fighting the Afrikan people's oppressors, the land thieves
Total 27 years in a jail cell under settler rule and rule of fellow Afrikans, crazy
Again, come what may is my attitude to this embattled life of mine
Come what may I decided when I joined the ranks of my beloved APLA
To fate I again surrender myself and my embattled life
Again life or death, let it be, what is the alternative to death?
I was at the mercy of the oppressors, now at the mercy of those I fought to free
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Release from prison, yes they offered, day release, accompanied by inhumane conditions
What an insult, trade the status of political prisoner to that of common criminal
No, I say no, such conditions are not even given to those who commit heinous crimes
Beneficiaries of apartheid and perpetrators of human rights abuses given real freedom with no conditions such as offered to me
Common criminal I am not, political prisoner yes, that I am and will not trade
Injustice of the justice system is all I have been subjected to
Moving me from pillar to post, judges, like politicians hiding behind unjust apartheid laws
Disappointed, yes I am
Angry, most definitely
Disheartened, no I am not
Defeated, not a chance
Standing strong, yes I am, to fight another day, another way
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To fate I lay my life down again, what is the alternative to death?
To fate I also call on my fellow imprisoned APLA cadres to lay their lives down
We continue to be failed by apartheid courts and injustice; the PAC calls
Difficult as it is, hunger strike is our only hope, hunger or unconditional release
Life or death, hunger strike is our only hope, hunger or unconditional release
Ma-Afrika, my productive years have been stolen from me, I am old, I am tired
I hope one day, with my fellow remaining APLA cadres, in jail, we will see you again outside these residences imposed upon us
Unlike some of our old and sick comrades, arrested by a white apartheid government and died in the same prisons under a black ANC government for daring to fight against apartheid, we are still alive
Alive yes, but what meaning to our lives, started with hope to free our people, ending in despair, kept from living and freedom by fellow Afrikans
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We hope to see you, free from these prisons, on this side of life not on the other side, in the unknown world of the spirits
We hope, one day, to embrace and laugh with our loved ones, and bury, in dignity, those we shall be fortunate enough to find still alive
We hope, Ma-Afrika, to have dignified deaths outside apartheid jails and be buried in dignity by the ones we love
If our African brothers and sisters in the ANC decide not to release us and we die in prison, it will be no shame to die in prison, our heads will forever be held up high, knowing we died for a cause we shall never betray
Don't mourn me should I die in this hell-hole, put more energy in freeing those still alive
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On behalf of all those you are fighting to free I say thank you Ma-Afrika for your love and unreserved support
By Kenny Motsamai (05 February 2016)
Boksburg Prison, B Section, Cell Number 341
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