Tuesday, December 18, 2012
New probe into 'Winnie' missing pair
New probe into 'Winnie' missing pair
"Together, hand in hand, with that stick of matches, with our necklace, we shall liberate this country.
Winnie Mandela (b. 1934), South African political leader. Speech in black townships. Quoted in Guardian (London, April 15, 1986).
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Winnie not above the law - DA
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Winnie incident: 3rd attempt to charge cops
Johannesburg - A fresh investigation has begun into the disappearance of two men reportedly last seen with former president Nelson Mandela's wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi said it had "recently obtained information" about Lolo Sono and Siboniso Shabalala, who went missing in 1988.
He said burial sites were being examined to find the remains of the pair, but could not confirm reports that they were linked to Madikizela-Mandela.
"The investigations into this case are still ongoing... No exact burial sites have yet been confirmed or excavated," he said in a statement.
AP reported that the two had last been seen at Madikizela-Mandela's home in Soweto, Johannesburg, in November that year.
Madikizela-Mandela was convicted in 1991 of kidnapping four young men and taking part in assaults on them. She was initially sentenced to six years in jail but on appeal was ordered to pay a fine.
Nkosi said a missing person’s task team in the NPA had been mandated to trace the missing two.
"It is standard practice for the... team to take DNA from family members of missing persons... so that DNA testing can be done... This has been done with the Sono and Shabalala families," he said.
"Should the remains of Lolo Sono and Siboniso Shabalala be located and identified through DNA, these remains will be formally handed to the two families by the department of justice and constitutional development..."
Read more on: npa | nelson mandela | winnie madikizela-mandela | johannesburg | crime
JOHANNESBURG December 3 1997 - SAPA
STOMPIE KILLED ON WINNIE'S ORDERS TO COVER UP ASSAULTS, TRC TOLD
Stompie Seipei was killed on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's instructions to prevent the Mandela "crisis committee" discovering how badly the Mandela United Football Club had assaulted four youths they had abducted from the Soweto Methodist Manse, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard on Wednesday.
Former club "coach" Jerry Richardson testified that Madikizela-Mandela decided to kill Seipei to cover up what had happened.
The Mandela crisis committee, made up of church, community and ANC leaders, was formed to secure the release of four boys, including Seipei, who were abducted from Methodist minister Paul Verryn's manse in late December 1988.
"I slaughterd him (Seipei) like a goat," Richardson said, as Seipei's mother, Joyce, left the hearing hall in tears.
Richardson said he abducted Seipei on Madikizela-Mandela's instructions after Verryn was falsely accused of sodomising the boys.
Richardson was led through his testimony by his lawyer, Tony Richards (correct).
Richardson said: "I killed Stompie under instructions of Mami (Madikizela-Mandela)."
He said he and another football club member, "Slash", went to look for a place where they could kill Seipei. They decided on a rocky patch of ground near a railway line in Noordgesig, Soweto.
Richardson said the plan to kill Seipei, several days after the abduction and assault, had to be postponed because a lot of visitors, including the crisis committee, kept coming to Madikizela-Mandela's house.
Richardson said the visitors included former South African Council of Churches' secretary-general Frank Chikane.
Richardson said Madikizela-Mandela hid him (Richardson) so the visitors could not speak to him.
"Mami was concerned the crisis committee would discover the presence of the youth in her yard," Richardson added.
He said Seipei was more severely beaten than the other three youths because Madikizela-Mandela accused him of being an impimpi (police informer).
"Stompie was tortured so severely... I could see he would ultimately die," Richardson said.
He said Madikizela-Mandela had participated in the beating, punching the youths with her fist. The youths were later sjambokked and lifted into the air and dropped onto the concrete floor.
Richardson said the football club had tortured youths in "horrible, brutal ways... in the manner used to torture freedom-fighters (by the police)".
A few days later, Richardson and "Slash" took Seipei to the site in Noordgesig they had chosen. Richardson said he had to help Seipei walk because "he was very sick and very weak".
When they reached the site, Richardson said he made Seipei lie on his back and separated a pair of garden shears.
He said he stabbed Seipei in the neck. "I put the shears through Stompie's neck. They went to the back... It was a stabbing motion, not a cutting motion," Richardson said when asked precisely how he had killed Seipei. He pointed to behind his right ear as he spoke.
On Tuesday, senior state pathologist Dr Patricia Klepp said that during her autopsy of Seipei's body, she found two stab marks behind Seipei's right ear and a larger stab mark on the left side of his neck.
On Wednesday Richardson said "Slash" made cutting motions with his half of the garden shears, because he wanted to make sure Seipei was dead.
He said they waited for a long time to make sure Seipei was dead. "We told ourselves we were committing the perfect crime."
They then washed their clothes in a nearby river and returned to Madikizela-Mandela's house, placing the garden shears back in the garage.
© South African Press Association, 1997
This text is for information only and may not be published or reprinted without the permission of the South African Press Association
Stompie's Story refers to the events in the abduction, beating and killing of Stompie Seipei, a boy of 14, and the involvement therein by Ms. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
(the former wife of Nelson Mandela).
In 1986, after returning to Soweto from banishment by the SA government, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela provided refuge and assistance to disaffected youth. The Mandela United Football Club (MUFC) was formed and its members moved into outbuildings of the Mandela residence; they served as body guards to Ms. Madikizela-Mandela. Allegations of violence by the MUFC surfaced in 1987 and community residents described these actions as a 'reign of terror'. Between Aug.1988 and Feb.1989 the MUFC and Ms. Madikizela-Mandela were implicated, directly or indirectly, in a range of incidents including assaults, abduction, murder and attempted murder of 12 individuals. Ostensibly these attacks were against suspected informers who were betraying the cause of the War of Liberation.
The crisis peaked when on Dec. 29, 1989 four youth, Stompie Seipei, Pelo Mekgwe, Kenneth Kgase and Thabiso Mono were abducted from a Methodist Church Youth Shelter by the MUFC and taken to Ms. Madikizela-Mandela's residence in Soweto where they were accused of engaging in sexual relations with Rev. Paul Verryn, who ran the shelter. Stompie Seipei was singled out and accused of being a police informer; all were severely beaten and locked up. "In early January, Seipei's decomposing body was found in a river-bed on the outskirts of Soweto. His body and head were riddled with injuries and he had been stabbed in the neck three times." as stated in the TRC Final Report.
According to the TRC report:
"The allegations against Ms. Madikizela-Mandela and the football club have been extremely controversial. The activities ... resulted in the prosecution and conviction of Madikizela-Mandela and three associates, as well as the conviction for murder of Mr. Jerry Richardson, the coach of the MUFC. Madikizela-Mandela was found guilty in 1991 of kidnapping and of being an accessory to assault. The latter conviction was subsequently overturned, but a full bench of the Appellate Division upheld the kidnapping conviction in 1993".
The TRC held its own hearings into the activities of Ms. Madikizela-Mandela. In the nine-day hearing, forty three witnesses gave evidence. Four versions of Stompie's killing emerged:
Jerry Richardson, who was convicted for the murder and applied for amnesty, claimed that he killed Seipei on instructions from Madikizela-Mandela.
Katiza Cebekhulu claimed he witnessed Madikizela-Mandela stabbing Stompie, a version supported by John Morgan, Winnie's personal chauffeur, who testified he was instructed to dump Stompie's body. Cebekhulu was a co-accused with Ms. Madikizela-Mandela at her trial for kidnapping and assault. He disappeared shortly before the trial and re-emerged in a Zambian prison, where he was detained without trial for almost three years.
An unsigned, typed section 29 statement by Mr. Johannes Mabotha, former member of SA Security Branch and a known informer, states he was present when Jerry Richardson informed Madikizela-Mandela that he had killed Stompie.
A fourth version, suggested by Security Branch policeman, Paul Erasmus, is that Richardson killed Seipei because he had found out that Richardson was an informer. The TRC Report states:
"The various versions, with the exception of that of Erasmus, all implicate Ms. Madikizela-Mandela, either directly or indirectly, in Seipei's murder or its attempted cover-up. The Commission has not been able to establish conclusively the veracity of any of these versions, including Erasmus's." "...Ms. Madikizela-Mandela's testimony before the Commission was characterized by a blanket denial of all allegations against her..." "It was only ... under great pressure from Archbishop Desmond Tutu ... that she reluctantly conceded that 'things had gone horribly wrong'".
The four figures in Stompie's Story refer to Winnie Madikizela- Mandela hugging Joyce Seipei, mother of the victim, after the TRC hearings; Katiza Cebekhulu and Stompie Seipei. Text includes selected testimony from the trial, and the notations on the clay shards refer to those involved in and/or related to this event. Blank shards refer to who and what remains unknown about this tragic affair.