Sipho Mngqibisa

Sipho Mngqibisa
Sipho Mngqibisa sees prison
Sipho Mngqibisa on Signal Hill, Cape Town
Sipho Mngqibisa meets Elias Mzamo
Sipho Mngqibisa - police officer Sindile's son.

He actually was arrested when I was four month old. I was born on the 23rd of September 1961, and he was arrested in February '62. So I was four month old. I never saw him, and I just grew up not knowing what kind of a person he is.

He talks about the time of his father's imprisonment and about the atmosphere in the country at the time.

I never saw him. I was about seven or nine. There was no photo when he was still before circumcision. That was the only photo that was there for me. Otherwise, nothing else.[...] I actually didn't want to speak to him the first day when he came

The little boy from back then is now a police officer. He works in a position which, during the time of apartheid, had been abused as an instrument of power. What made him choose this profession? What has changed in the country so that the position has become available to him? He talks about the changes in the country, about his hopes, and about misunderstandings.

One of (my fathers) arguments was, that he was a political prisoner, and people know him and they know me as his son. How would he explain that his son is now a cop after he spent so many years, you know. But as a freedom fighter I told him that some day you will need the police to secure that freedom you're fighting for. And then my answer was the one that: Maybe you will need that police some day - And I'll be the one