Press Conference Introducing Alexandre Moumbaris, Stephen Lee and Timothy Jenkin who escaped from prison in South Africa: Oliver Tambo, 2 January 1980, Lusaka

I would like to state in my preliminary remarks that the overthrow of the hated and criminal policies that prevails in South Africa requires first that the worst victims of that system, the oppressed and the exploited, should themselves unite and fight together for its overthrow. But its overthrow also requires that all the sections of that population including those whom it seeks to serve, whose interests it purports to protect - the white section of the population - should themselves not only reject the system as destructive of that society in the long run, but should join the majority in the struggle for the transfer of power to the majority of the people of South Africa. Thirdly, because this is an international anachronism, the whole world is in various ways involved as countries, as organisations, as governments, even as individuals, in the attempt to change that system and replace it with a system that serves the interests and purposes of democracy.

The African National Congress has in its ranks people who are fighting together across the race and colour line, and who sacrifice together in that struggle... Today I am pleased to introduce three who were captured [by the enemy] and who escaped from that captivity by their own ingenuity, defeating the sophistication of the enemy`s structures, not only of repression but of detention.

If I may begin with Alex Moumbaris, he was arrested together with his wife, Marie-José Moumbaris, in July 1972 at the Botswana/South Africa border... He was sentenced in 1973 to 12 years` imprisonment. His wife was in prison for about 4 months and then freed on the grounds that she was expecting a child, and freed also through the intervention of the French Government. Comrades Steve Lee and Timothy Jenkins were arrested in March 1978 and sentenced in June 1978... They will tell their stories and answer your questions.

But to be here today they have had, after leaving jail, to employ all manner of methods and ways; they have been assisted by all types of people, and we have felt that it would be in the interest of the continuation of our struggle if they did not talk about what they did the moment they left prison, the moment they got out. In other words, how they came to be here. We hope the press will understand that we are in the middle of the struggle and would not like to talk too early... Transcribed from tape