Mokonyane too ill to return

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

Illness has delayed one of South Africa's struggle fighters who lives in London from returning home.

Dan Mokonyane, who was one of the pioneers of the Alexandra bus boycott of 1957, has been living in Britain since 1960. Some of his friends from the defiance campaign thought he was dead.

He was a leading member of the bus boycott, dubbed Azikhwelwa. The campaign was launched after Putco decided to raise bus fares without consulting the community.

The much-chronicled campaign punctuated Alexandra residents' struggle against apartheid.

"The bus boycott was successful because Putco lowered the fares," said Mokonyane.

He has since written a book about the campaign.

Mokonyane fled to London in 1960 as a political refugee and has been living there ever since.

In a telephonic interview, Mokonyane told Sowetan that he missed home and would like to return.

"The thing that is delaying me is the doctors. I have to attend treatment three times a week, that's why I'm still here. I miss home, but what can I do?"

Mokonyane has another dilemma. He does not have an identity document. When he fled the country, he didn't even have a dompas.

He has since applied for an identity document in London.

Mokonyane has been a senior law lecturer at Middlesex University. "I had to retire because of kidney failure," he said.

Sowetan recently reported that Mokonyane was dead but he called the office affirming that he was very much alive.