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Tuesday, November 25, 1997 Published at 19:37 GMT


I saw Winnie stab teenager, says witness

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has heard evidence that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of the president, stabbed a black teenager to death nine years ago.

Katiza Cebekhulu, one of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's former bodyguards, said he saw her plunge a "shining" object twice into 14-year-old activist Stompie Seipei late one night in 1988.

[ image: Katiza Cebekhulu uses a pen to demonstrate what he saw]
Katiza Cebekhulu uses a pen to demonstrate what he saw
"I saw her killing Stompie," he said, pointing at Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, "I'm referring to Winnie."

But the accusation contained contradictions compared to Mr Cebekhulu's previous statements on the death of Stompie Seipei and also differed from accounts given by others in Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house.

It was the first direct witness account of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela participating in one of at least eight murders to which she has been linked.

Mr Cebekhulu said that shortly before the stabbing a limp Stompei was carried to an outdoor compound at Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's home by a follower, Jerry Richardson.

"I saw her (Winnie) raising her hand twice," Cebekhulu said. "It was something that was shining. She stabbed twice."

Mr Cebekhulu said he participated in a beating of Stompeii and three others, whom Winnie and her football club accused of being police informers.

Witness to return to England

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, he said, later asked him to leave the country, in return for money and school fees, as he was likely to be called as a witness in her 1991 murder trial for Seipei's death.

She was later convicted of kidnapping the teenager and fined, but acquitted of the assault. Richardson was jailed for life for the killing.

Former British MP Emma Nicholson, who helped get Mr Cebekhulu released from a Zambian jail and has sheltered him in England, appeared at Tuesday's hearing with him.

[ image: Supporters of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela outside the hearing on Monday]
Supporters of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela outside the hearing on Monday
Unlike the account given in the book Katiza's Journey, by journalist Fred Bridgland, Mr Cebekhulu said at the hearing that he could not clearly see the body or tell if it was Stompei.

Only later did he figure out it must have been Stompei, he said. In the book, Mr Cebekhulu said he saw the body carried out and then watched Mrs Madikizela-Mandela stab it.

His account of events in late December 1988 also differed from earlier testimony by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's former confidante, Xoliswa Falati, and one of the other three young men who were brought to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house with Stompei and beaten.

"I heard Winnie order killing"

Mr Cebekhulu said he handed her a whip that she used to beat the four, while both Mrs Falati and Pelo Mekgwe said earlier Mrs Madikizela-Mandela only used her hands or fists before leaving the room. Her bodyguards then continued the assault, they said.

Mrs Falati, a frequent companion until 1992, was convicted with Mrs Madikizela-Mandela of kidnapping and assaulting four black youths in 1989. She now says she saw beatings in Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's home and heard her order an assassination in 1992.

[ image: Members of the Mandela United Football Club, which allegedly carried out beatings]
Members of the Mandela United Football Club, which allegedly carried out beatings
"I was ordered to sing to drown out the voices of those crying for mercy. After the assault, Mrs Mandela said they must clean up the blood," she said.

Commission officials said Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, who denies all the accusations, was unlikely to testify before Thursday or Friday.

The hearing takes place three weeks before Mrs Madikizela-Mandela stands for election as ANC deputy president, a post that could lead to the deputy presidency of the country when Mr Mandela retires in 1999.

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