Mr Lawrence Ndzanga,aged 53, a former secretary of the Railway Workers Union and a national executive committee member of the South African Congress Trade Unions (SACTU),was detained under section 6(1) of the Terrorism Act on 18 November 1976. His wife Rita and twenty others were detained at the same time.He was held at the Johannesburg Fort. He was charged in terms of the Terrorism Act on 28 December and remanded in detention.
Mr and Mrs Ndzanga were banned in 1964.Both were detained in 1969 and twice tried and acquitted on charges under the Terrorism and Suppression of Communism Acts.They were again banned for 5 years after their acquittal. The police issued the following statement regarding Mr Ndzanga's death: 'He was detained on 18 November 1976,in terms of section 6 of the Terrorism Act,and on 28 December,charged with contravention of section 2 of the Act in that he alleged to have recruited persons to undergo military training abroad.As an awaiting-trial prisoner,he was detained from 12 December in the Fort prison in Johannesburg where he died on 8th January 1977,of a heart attack.'The results of the post-mortem reads as follows: Tuberculosis pleurisy-hydrothorax-and acute myocarditis-and cardiac failure(natural)'.No inquest was held.
At the time of her husband's funeral Mrs Ndzanga was still in detention. Representations were made to the minister of police to allow her to attend the funeral.After many refusal it was agreed she could be released on R5 000 bail.However,the money was not raised in time.She was acquitted of the charges in the trial in which her husband was to have co-accused.Five thousand people attended Mr Ndzanga's funeral. ,one Speaking of Mr Ndzanga,one speaker said 'He died for the liberation of the black people, and the circumstances under which he died,although we are told that he collapsed,raised doubt among those who can read between the lines as to what happened behind those windowless walls.
Behind Closed Doors. By Shireen Motala .South African Institute Race Relations.1987.