My name is Daniel Mokonyane and I am very much alive and living in London. But my death was reported in an article on Azikwelwa, the Bus Boycott of 1957 in Alexandra Township, in a South African daily newspaper, The Sowetan, on 16th October 2007 and in spite of all my efforts it took a long time for a rather feeble retraction to be printed which included uncorrected mistakes.
It seemed that the paper could write anything it liked about me because of the 6,000 miles which separate us. Both the original article and the retraction which was never sent to me, although I still hope The Sowetan will write to me directly, can be found on-line on The Sowetan website.
Simon Nare in the article entitled: ‘Our Terms, Our Wheels’ ignored the information freely available to him on the internet and from family and friends and when I saw the article, myself! The Sowetan’s attitude raises issues of press freedom and integrity and the ways in which history can be reported; it was only when I contacted the Press Ombudsman that the rather inaccurate retraction was made on December 4th 2007.
I came to England as a South African political refugee in 1960. Since then I have studied and taught Law as well as writing on South Africa. Until 2002 I was a Senior Lecturer in Law at Middlesex University in North London specialising in Jurisprudence. Unfortunately I became ill with kidney failure and now have to dialyse three times a week.