A close friend of South Africa’s first black President and ant- apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, Tokyo Sexwale was arrested in New York after his name was found on a list of people banned from entering the United States, the SABC news service reported on Sunday.
The broadcaster quoted his his lawyer saying that Sexwale, a rival of President Jacob Zuma who was ousted as housing minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in July, was arrested at John F Kennedy International Airport while on a business trip.
Sexwale was also a prisoner at Robin Island together with Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era. During that era, some anti-apartheid activists were banned from visiting the United States when they were regarded as terrorists.
Apartheid however ended in 1994 and although the ban was lifted, not all the names have been removed from the list, Mkhabela told the SABC.
“He has instructed us to take the matter up with the authorities of the US so we will address the letter to the US Embassy in South Africa,” Mkhabela was quoted as saying on the broadcaster’s website.
After 1994, Sexwale soon became a leading member of the ANC and apart from politics he is a successful businessman who owns his own firm The Mvelaphanda Group.