Bulelani Ngcuka In Dialogue With Political Analyst Ongama Mtimka

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Monday, 1st August 2022

South African attorney, prosecutor and activist, who served as the first Director of Public Prosecutions in South Africa, was recently at the Albany Museum in Makhanda to promote his new book called Bulelani Ngcuka, The Sting In The Tale.

It was a tell all moment, where his audience got to hear about how his book came about and his life story.

Why did you write this book?

I was inspired by Eastern Cape born former journalist Marion Sparg. It was my time to tell my side of the story, especially for my children who were continually being harassed at school and asked why their father made certain decisions. It is also important to remind people that there was a time in this country when those in power wanted to make South Africa a better place.

Why do you think you became the person that you are?

I grew up as an activist and ended up being detained in 1981. Three of us from the UDF went on a hunger strike, after seven days, we were transferred to Bloemfontein and thereafter released. I am proud to say I come from a small village, that produced so many successful people because they were raised by praying women.

How did you get to where you are?

After University we struggled to get articles from white firms, but today we can employ all of them because we remained engaged in the struggle. I was finally given a chance when I received a phone call that changed my life to go and serve my articles in Durban. I was relactant at first because I have always dreamed of practising in the Eastern Cape and my role model was Mr. Mtshizana.

How did you manage to balance politics and law?

During apartheid, when I was asked to give evidence against my fellow comrades I refused, even though they were sentenced anyway. I wanted to rebel against the regime because my allegiance was not only to the South African Constitution but to injustice as well.

What are you proud of from the early 1990s until now?

I am proud of the achievement of freedom and liberation of South Africa. Freedom could not have been achieved without international community. We owe it to the world to make South Africa a success. Being invited to serve in the justice system was a privilege. I was also invited by Zola Skhweyiya to be part of the legal team for negotiations of the freedom charter.

How did you act against people who have been comrades?

I acted based on my investigations on evidence and facts, it was not easy but I had to do the right thing.

Photo by Grocott's Mail.

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