The South African authorities have put on display three Cuban prisoners captured during their involvement in the Angolan civil war earlier this year.
MV INTERIOR ZOOM IN: Cuban prisoners in South Africa, identifying themselves in Spanish as, from right to left, Carlos Alberto Maru Mesa, Roberto Morales Bellma, and Sergeant Esequiel David Garces Mustelier.
SV: prisoners with Mesa speaking to newsman in Spanish.
SV: South African Army Operations Director Brigadier Ben Roos standing beside prisoners and lighting pipe.
SV: three prisoners.
CU: Mesa re;plying in English to question.
SV: three prisoners lined up -- left to right Mustelier, Mesa and Bellma.
REPORTER: "Can you tell me, what do you do with your spare time? I mean, you do have a lot of spare time?"
CUBAN PRISONER MESA: "We wake up at seven o'clock in the morning and we go to the garden and work all the morning until eleven o'clock."
REPORTER: "What do you grow?"
MESA: "I don't know how do you call it.....vegetables....?"
MESA: "Yes, yes, vegetables.... after we go to eat lunchtime, and after we go to work again until three o'clock and later we go to wash and eat and in the night we study every night until half past eight....nine o'clock."
REPORTER: "What do you study?"
MESA: "We study English and mathematics."
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Background: The South African authorities have put on display three Cuban prisoners captured during their involvement in the Angolan civil war earlier this year.
SYNOPSIS: The prisoners were displayed during the weekend in Johannesburg, South Africa's principal city, at a news conference. They identified themselves by name in Spanish.
The South African authorities who arranged the presentation, said the men had asked to meet newsmen so that their families in Cuba would know they were still alive. Each had written letters home to Cuba, but had no reply, according to one news report. Following the meeting, the South African Government said it was prepared to bring out to South Africa one member of each prisoner's family to visit them.
The South African authorities claimed that the prisoners were taken into custody for medical treatment during the war, and had been treated well ever since. The prisoners were allowed to respond to the claims.
Before the news conference the South African authorities said the prisoners were being treated in accordance with International Red Cross rules.