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Statement on the detention of Malaika wa Azania in Morocco

8 October 2014

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) has learnt with grave concern about the `detention` of youth activist and author Malaika Mahlatsi aka "Malaika wa Azania" in Casablanca, Morocco.

Malaika was `detained` upon her arrival at the Mohammed V International Airport yesterday. She has not been permitted to communicate with her family and our government. Neither her family nor the Government of the Republic of South Africa knows the reason for her detention or her exact location in Casablanca. In a public statement released today, her mother Dipuo Mahlatsi, stated that she knew of her daughter`s `detention `through a third party "nearly 24 hours after the fact."

The ANC Youth League is aware that Malaika is an outspoken young person who expresses views that strongly question the position of the government of Morocco on the as yet to be resolved independence of the people of Western Sahara. The ANCYL hopes that the Government of Morocco has not `detained `Malaika for her views. We can find no other plausible or justifiable reason for its unjust action.

We therefore call on the Government of Morocco to release Malaika with immediate effect and to allow her to proceed with her business or facilitate her safe passage back to the land of her birth, South Africa.

We also call on our Government to demand her immediate release.

The ANCYL views Malaika`s `detention` as an illegitimate and illegal act akin to a kidnapping. We will hold the Government of Morocco responsible for any health and safety problem that might develop while she is kidnapped by the Government.

Issued by African National Congress Youth League

For Interviews: Dr. Bandile Masuku (ANCYL National Spokesperson) - 071 574 4513