Definitions

stompie

Stompie Moeketsi

James Seipei (born 1975, died 1989), also known as Stompie Moeketsi, was a teenage African National Congress (ANC) activist from Soweto in South Africa. He was kidnapped and murdered on 29 December 1988 by members of Winnie Mandela's bodyguards, known as the Mandela United football club.

Activism

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.

Murder

Moeketsi was kidnapped on 29 December 1988 after a school rally, accused of being a police informer and murdered at the age of 14. His body was found in Soweto with his throat slit. Jerry Richardson, one of Winnie Mandela's bodyguards, was convicted of the murder. He claimed that she had ordered him to abduct four young men from Soweto, of whom Stompie was the youngest. The four were severely beaten and Stompie's lifeless body was later recovered by the police.

Involvement of Winnie Mandela

In 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 2 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".

References

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