Former anti-apartheid activist Allan Boesak this morning reported to a Cape Town prison to start a three-year sentence for theft and fraud. The former clergyman—who in the 1980s was widely respected by churches and ecumenical organizations worldwide that poured money into his anti-apartheid fund—will live in a communal cell, with no special privileges, according to the prison authorities.On Friday, May 12, the Supreme Court of Appeal sentenced Boesak, 53, to an effective three years in prison for financial irregularities while he was director of the now-defunct Foundation for Peace and Justice (FPJ) which had been set up to finance anti-apartheid activities and help victims of South Africa's racist policies in the 1980s. Ironically Boesak will serve time in the same prison to which he led protest marches in the early 1980s demanding the release of a fellow opponent of apartheid, Nelson Mandela.Last year the High Court in Cape Town imposed a six-year prison term on Boesak. Last week's appeal ruling halved that sentence.Three Appeal Court judges dismissed Boesak's appeal against two convictions. One conviction was for the theft of 259,161 rand (about US$36,700) from a donation of 682,161 rand (about US$96,600) to the Children's Trust set up by US pop star Paul Simon to help child victims of apartheid. Boesak had defrauded the trustees by failing to tell them the full amount of Simon's donation. The second conviction was for a theft from the accounts of the FPJ to pay personal expenses. However, they upheld Boesak's appeal against his conviction for stealing 762,521 rand (US$108,000) from a Swedish donation intended for the production of educational video and audio cassettes on democracy.Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Anglican ...1
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