Johannesburg - “After all, Madikizela Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and sentenced to four years in jail. The judge described her in that trial as 'an unblushing and unprincipled liar'. That sentence was replaced by a fine but the conviction was upheld by the Appeal Court.”
These are the words of DA veteran Douglas Gibson in response to a press conference held by former minister of safety and security Sydney Mufamadi.
Mufamadi was responding to allegations made in a documentary which exposed an alleged plot to “weaken” Madikizela Mandela politically.
The former minister said the documentary was unbalanced and that the producer of the documentary, Pascale Lamche, did not afford him the right of reply.
He also dropped a bombshell that it was not him, but former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon who approached the then police commissioner George Fivaz to reopen the Stompie Seipei murder investigation.
Douglas in a statement issued on behalf of Leon, hit back at claims made of Leon's involvement in the decision to reopen the probe.
"Any suggestion of an involvement with Stratcom before 1994 when he [Leon] was the Opposition Justice spokesperson, or afterwards, when he was the Leader of the Opposition to the ANC government is a ridiculous lie. Leon was doing his job and any allegation that he was “behind” the persecution of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is also a lie.
“There was a strong suspicion at the time about Lolo Sono’s death and his father openly stated in public that Madikizela was involved. There were public allegations made about the Dr Asvat murder and the death of Stompie Seipei and international interest in the evidence of one Cebekhulu, who was taken under the wing by Baroness Nicholson in the House of Lords,” Gibson added.
Gibson further said that: "If Tony had not openly and publicly called for an investigation he would have been failing in his duty as Leader of the Opposition."
"Tony travelled to London to investigate this source and referred it to General Fivaz who subsequently wrote saying that upon investigating the matter further, the SAPS concluded that Cebekhulu was an unreliable witness."
The ANC leadership has, meanwhile, stopped its members from responding to allegations that they resigned for the ANC Women’s League during Madikizela-Mandela’s tenure as president.
“The organisation so advised that it is not advisable at this period while we are still mourning to be speaking individually about all sorts of accusation that will be made and aspersions on individuals.
“It does not mean that the ANC will not respond on those issues. At an appropriate time and moment that allows the ANC will speak on those issues,” said ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula.