The seven people accused in Tanzania's first treason trial appeared in court in Dar-ES-Salaam yesterday (June 8th).
The seven people accused in Tanzania's first treason trial appeared in court in Dar-ES-Salaam yesterday (June 8th). All entered pleas of not guilty to the charges of conspiring to overthrow the Government and assassinate President Julius Nyerere. Chief Justice Mr. Telfer Georges set June 24 as the date for the commencement of their High Court trial.
Those charged included Bibi Titi Mohamed, a founder of the ruling Tanganyika African National Union Party. Michael Kalamize, a former Labour Minister, Colonel William Chacha, until recently Military Attache in Peking, and Grey Matakka, former news editor of the Tanu newspaper, "The Nationalist". An eighth person, Oscar Kambona, a former Minister now living in exile in London, was charged in the preliminary hearing, but his name was dropped in the formal charges filed two weeks ago. However, the Attorney-General said the charges had not been dropped, and that Tanzania might apply to Britain to extradite Kambona.
A key figure in the charges is Mr. Potlako Leballo, head of the South African Freedom Group, the Panafricanist Congress. The State says he was approached by the accused to bring in freedom fighting movements based in Dar-Es-Salaam on the side of the plotters.