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"Henry Okah: Freedom Fighter, Not a Terrorist" - Prison Rights Activist

Johannesburg - Nigerian Henry Okah is "not a terrorist", and South Africa "prosecuted an innocent man", a protester said outside the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

RELATED NEWS: Henry Okah: Sentencing Starts For Convicted Terrorist

"Henry Okah: Freedom Fighter, Not a Terrorist" - Prison Rights Activist

"Mr Henry Okah is a freedom fighter. He is not a terrorist," prison rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu said outside court.

"My brothers and sisters, wake up and smell the coffee; an innocent man has been prosecuted. Mr Henry Okah is not a bloody terrorist."

Dressed in orange prison overalls with chains wrapped around him, Bhudu had two posters in his hands.

"Henry Okah is a political detainee and not a terrorist, says Sapohr" and "Henry Okah's trial re-enacts Rivonia trial of 1964, says Sapohr," the placards read.

Sapohr is the SA Prisoners' Organisation for Human Rights.

Bhudu arrived at the court early in the morning and started to protest, drawing a crowd during lunch.

He told those gathering around him that South Africa should not have become involved in the case.

"South Africa must get out of this whole thing. South Africa must clean their own house. South Africa is not the policeman of Africa. Okah is and was fighting for the emancipation of his people. South Africa had no right to charge him."

South Africa tried Okah as part of its international obligation, as the Nigerian authorities had not applied for his extradition, according to the prosecution.

On 21 January, Okah was found guilty on 13 counts of terrorism, including engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

The charges related to two car bombs in Abuja, Nigeria, in which 12 people were killed and 36 injured on 1 October 2010, the anniversary of the country's independence.

In his judgment Judge Neels Claassen said the State had proved Okah's guilt beyond reasonable doubt, and that his failure to testify meant the evidence against him remained uncontested.

- SAPA

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