Cape Town- “Ma Winnie did not kill Stompie!”
These were the words of former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, who was speaking at a special memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.
Mentor added that the Stompie allegations were unfounded and baseless.
“Not the court of law, not the TRC found that she ordered [anyone] to kill Stompie,” Mentor said.
Mentor was referring to 1991 when Madikizela-Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and assault over the killing of Stompie Moeketsi, a 14-year-old boy.
Moeketsi, who was accused being an informer, was murdered by her bodyguards in 1989.
In court, she claimed she was not present at her Orlando West, Soweto home in December 1988 when Seipei and three other youngsters were detained at her home and severely beaten.
Her jail sentence was reduced to a fine, and she denied involvement in any murders when she appeared before Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.
Mentor also said that Madikizela-Mandela never shied away from controversy.
Adding to this was Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said: “Comrade Winnie you were our light in the darkest days of apartheid.
“She spent her days living in Soweto, living among the people and showed that she deeply cared for the people,” Ehrenreich said.
Additional reporting by AFP