Clayton Sithole dies while detained at John Vorster Square, Johannesburg, allegedly by his own hand.

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Tuesday, 30 January 1990

Clayton Sithole was the last political activist to die in detention. He died in John Vorster Square just 11 days before the release of former president Nelson Mandela. At the time of his arrest, Sithole was in a relationship with Zindzi Mandela and had fathered her then three month old son. He was found hanging by a belt and shoelaces from a water pipe in the shower. His death was ruled a suicide.

Sithole was just one of the many detainees to have died in John Vorster Square police station, in Johannesburg, Transvaal (now Gauteng). This police station gained a reputation as many detainees seemed to perish inside the building. In none of the inquests held regarding these deaths did the blame fall on the police.

Clayton Sithole dies while detained at John Vorster Square, Johannesburg, allegedly by his own hand.

References:
• Sunday Times Heritage Project, Going to Goch Street, from The Sunday Times, [online], Available at heritage.thetimes.co.za [Accessed: 9 January 2014]
• Burns, J.F., (1990), South Africa Appoints Judicial Inquiry in Death of Black Close to Mandelas, from The New York Times, 01 February, [online], Available at www.nytimes.com [Accessed: 9 January 2014]
•  South African Institute of Race Relations. (1990). Race Relations Survey 1989/90, Johannesburg: South African Institute of Race Relations, p. 177

Last updated : 30-Jan-2015

This article was produced by South African History Online on 27-Jan-2012

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