South Africa’s ANC Wants U.S. Apology After Former Minister Held

The U.S. government should apologize for detaining a former South African minister and “freedom fighter” after profiling him as a terrorist, the country’s governing African National Congress said.

Former Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale was briefly detained at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last week because he was on a watch list of terrorism suspects dating back to South Africa’s white-minority rule, state-owned South Africa Broadcasting Corp. reported today.

Sexwale is “a decorated freedom fighter, activist and leader of our liberation movement, not a terrorist,” the ANC said in an e-mailed statement today. The U.S. decision to “view members and leaders of the African National Congress as terrorists is an affront to the global anti-apartheid movement.”

Jack Hillmeyer, a U.S. Embassy spokesman in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, declined to comment in an e-mail today.

Nobel peace prize winner Nelson Mandela’s party was banned by the white minority government until 1990, prompting other countries including the U.S. to designate it as a terrorist organization. Mandela led the ANC to victory to become the country’s first black president in all-race elections that ended apartheid in 1994.

Mandela appointed Sexwale to serve as a director on two companies he set up. He served as a minister until July, when he lost his position in a cabinet re-organization.

To contact the reporter on this story: Franz Wild in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.