Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stompie Moeketsi

Stompie Moeketsi

James Seipei (1974–1989), also known as Stompie Moeketsi, was a teenage African National Congress (ANC) activist from Parys in South Africa.
He and three other boys were kidnapped on 29 December 1988 by members of Winnie Mandela's bodyguards, known as the Mandela United football club.

Moeketsi was murdered on 1 January 1989, the only one of the boys to be killed.


1 Activism
2 Murder
3 Involvement of Winnie Mandela
4 References


Moeketsi joined the street uprising against apartheid in the mid 1980s at age ten, and soon took on a leading role. He became the country's youngest political detainee when he spent his 12th birthday in jail without trial. At the age of 13 he was expelled from school.


Moeketsi, together with Kenny Kgase, Pelo Mekgwe and Thabiso Mono, was kidnapped on 29 December 1988 from the Methodist manse in Orlando, Soweto.

Moeketsi was accused of being a police informer and murdered at the age of 14. His body was found on waste ground near Winnie Mandela's house on 6 January 1989, and recovered by the police.
His throat had been cut. Jerry Richardson, one of Winnie Mandela's bodyguards, was convicted of the murder. He claimed that she had ordered him, with others, to abduct the four youths from Soweto, of whom Moeketsi was the youngest. The four were severely beaten.

Involvement of Winnie MandelaIn 1991, Winnie Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault, but her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence on appeal.

This incident became a cause célèbre for the apartheid government and opponents of the ANC, and Winnie Mandela's iconic status was dealt a heavy blow.

Appearing before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1997, she said allegations that she was involved in at least 18 human rights abuses including eight murders were "ridiculous" and claimed that her main accuser, former comrade Katiza Cebekhulu, was a former "mental patient" and his allegations against her were "hallucinations"

The Commission found that the abduction had been carried out on Winnie Mandela's instructions, and that she had "initiated and partcipated in the assaults". However, with regard to the actual murder the Commission found Mandela only "negligent".

[edit] References1.^ a b c d http://www.stanford.edu/class/history48q/Documents/EMBARGO/2chap6f.htm Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
2.^ a b Christopher S. Wren (February 16, 1989). "In Storm Over Winnie Mandela, Body Is Identified as Soweto Boy's". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE1D61330F935A25751C0A96F948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all.
3.^ "1991: Mandela's wife jailed for kidnaps". BBC. May 14, 1991. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/14/newsid_2863000/2863807.stm.
4.^ "Winnie says evidence against her is 'ludicrous'". BBC. December 4, 1997. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/36680.stm.
"Fall of Winnie Mandela Began Nearly 2 Years Ago; Erratic Behavior Preceded Recent Violence", Washington Post, February 18, 1989
"Winnie Mandela on bank fraud charges", Telegraph, October 15, 2001
"Mrs Mandela defies accusers", Telegraph, December 5, 1997
"Winnie Mandela 'had hand in boy's murder'", Telegraph, December 9, 1997
"The Lady: the life and times of Winnie Mandela", by Emma Gilbey. London: Vintage, 1994. ISBN 0-09-938801-4
"Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Biography Summary

( Wikipedia )

Winnie given jail term, BBC, 25 April 2003

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela, has been sentenced to five years in prison by a South African court for fraud and theft. One year of her sentence is suspended, and under the terms of the judgement she will serve a minimum of eight months in jail, with the rest taking the form of community service.

The former anti-apartheid campaigner was found guilty of 43 charges of fraud and 25 of theft in connection with a bank loan scandal. The sentencing magistrate compared her to a modern day Robin Hood fraudulently acquiring loans for people who were desperately short of money, but he said that as a prominent public figure she should have known better.

Madikizela-Mandela, 66, immediately appealed and was released on bail. Several streets around the court in the capital, Pretoria, were cordoned off by police after threats by a student group to do "anything" in its power to keep Madikizela-Mandela out of jail. Madikizela-Mandela and her financial adviser, Addy Moolman, denied fraudulently obtaining loans worth more than $120,000 in the name of bogus employees of the African National Congress (ANC) Women's League, of which Madikizela-Mandela is president.

In a statement released through her lawyer, Madikizela-Mandela announced she had resigned her positions as an MP and her influential posts on the ANC national executive and as head of the ANC Women's League. Moolman was sentenced to a seven year jail term, two of which were suspended.

Friend and former opposition MP Helen Suzman told the BBC that she felt the judgement was harsh, considering the terrible time Madikizela-Mandela endured during the apartheid era. But she said Winnie was a brave and generous woman and would continue to remain popular in the townships. But she also said there would be many in South Africa who would welcome the sentence. One supporter, Jefferson Makope, expressed sadness at the verdict. "Winnie is a hero for many of South Africa's people. She has often been there for the poor and those who experienced tragedies," he said.

Giving evidence last month, Madikizela-Mandela said she had signed documents without checking them and was duped into taking part in fraud. But magistrate Peet Johnson said this was "completely improbable". "She knew that she signed letters that would enable people to get loans to which they were not entitled."

He said Madikizela-Mandela's evidence was often unreliable and that she had contradicted herself. It is not the first time that Madikizela-Mandela has been in trouble with authorities. Known as "the mother of the nation" by her many supporters, but disparaged as "the mugger of the nation" by her detractors, Madikizela-Mandela was a potent symbol of resistance during the country's apartheid system.

However in 1991, following her former husband's release from prison, she was found guilty of kidnapping charges relating to the murder of a 14-year-old boy. She was sentenced to six years in jail but this was reduced to a fine by an appeal court. Recently she refused to pay a fine levied by parliament for financial irregularities and has only just settled a legal battle with a bank over money owed on a loan for her luxury home in Soweto

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