Former minister denies ordering Stompie Seipei probe be reopened

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JOHANNESBURG, April 16 – Former cabinet minister Sydney Mufamadi denied that he approached the then special security branch to re-open an investigation into the murder of teenage activist Stompie Seipei, as told in the documentary “Winnie”, which explored late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s tumultuous life.

Mufamadi shot down a version in the documentary told by the then head of the murder and robbery squad Henk Heslinga. Heslinga claimed Mufamadi, as the then safety and security minister, approached him in 1995 to reopen the investigation.

Opening an investigation was the responsibility of a police commissioner and not the minister, said Mufamadi.

“As a senior officer, Heslinga knew better….and why would I tell him that I am a member of the ANC NEC? Why was that relevant to him?” asked Mufamadi.

He said the police did not have a slush fund, as alleged by Heslinga.

The award-winning documentary was first aired publicly in the aftermath of Madikizela-Mandela’s death. It drew an outcry after it showed how a propaganda plan was hatched allegedly by some in Madikizela-Mandela’s beloved ANC, apartheid government leaders and journalists to weaken her politically.

Mufamadi criticised the producer of the documentary, Pascale Lamche for not allowing him a right of reply.

“They say it’s an award-winning documentary, I ask myself whether those who give the awards consider the issue of ethics. People against whom these chilling allegations are made are alive and available…they have a right to put forward their version.”

He said Madikizela-Mandela was not the only ANC leader to appear before the TRC, as several others did, including himself, for kidnapping a police officer during the heydays of apartheid.

– African News Agency (ANA)