Merle Africa, one of the Move 9, died on prison on March 13, 1998 under very suspicious circumstances. After a short bout with a stomach virus from which she was almost fully recovered, she fainted in the cell on March 12th at night going to the bathroom. The prison authorities removed Debbie Sims Africa and stayed in the cell with Merle for 45 minutes and finally called an ambulance that took her to an outside hospital. Supporters were not allowed any information and only after Merle’s mother insisted was she told that Merle had died.
On Thursday the 5th, Merle was looking good and feeling back to her old self after the stomach virus and gave strong hugs to family who came to visit. Merle was a young woman in her mid-forties of good health and strong spirit. To date, supporters have not been given important information as to why a young woman in good health would die so suddenly.