San Diegan Freed From South African Prison
A 19-year-old San Diegan, arrested when South African security police raided a church Sunday, was released Wednesday and will leave the troubled country, according to a U.S. consular official in Cape Town.
Vice Consul Jim Gray said in a telephone interview that San Diegan Scott Daugherty and another American, Rodney Williams, a retired Army lieutenant colonel from Hawaii, were both released late Wednesday night from South Africa’s Pollsmoor Prison.
Another U.S. citizen remains jailed in the Pretoria region, State Department spokesman Bruce Awmmerman said. But Awmmerman, citing privacy laws, declined to identify the man or where he is jailed. U.S. officials do not know the charges against the man, but they are working on his release, Awmmerman said.
Gray declined to give any details about Daugherty and Williams’ release except to say that Daugherty is scheduled to leave South Africa Friday and Williams Wednesday. U.S. consular officials in Cape Town said the charges against both men were never made public by South African authorities, but they were detained under the provisions of a nationwide state of emergency that gives police wide discretionary powers.
Daugherty was arrested Sunday along with 250 other people attending a prayer service at an Anglican church in a Cape Town suburb. Gray said that Williams was arrested Monday outside a church, but he did not know the location.
Daugherty arrived in South Africa on April 17, to help the victims of apartheid, according to family members and friends. Williams was vacationing in South Africa, Gray said.
U.S. officials said that neither man was mistreated while in detention.
A total of five Americans have been arrested since the government crackdown began a week ago. The Rev. Brian Burchfield, a Lutheran missionary from Seattle who is living in South Africa, was arrested Sunday but released after a few hours. Ronald S. Minor, 31, an Anaheim resident, was arrested Saturday and charged with interfering with police.
Minor was also released after a few hours and has a court appearance on June 26, Awmmerman said. Burchfield and Minor are still in South Africa.