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Thursday, November 27, 1997 Published at 21:19 GMT



World

Murderer claims Winnie ordered killing
image: [ The funeral of Dr Abu Baker Asvat, who had been a close friend of the Mandela family ]
The funeral of Dr Abu Baker Asvat, who had been a close friend of the Mandela family

A South African man convicted of murdering Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's doctor has alleged she ordered the killing.


[ image: Cyril Mbatha: no possibility of early release from 30 year sentence]
Cyril Mbatha: no possibility of early release from 30 year sentence
In an interview with the BBC, Cyril Mbatha said the former wife of President Mandela promised to pay him $6,000 and gave him the gun he used.

Mr Mbatha, who is due to testify before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said he appealed to the family of Dr Abu Baker Asvat for forgiveness.

It is claimed that Mrs Mandela organised the murder of Dr Asvat, because he refused to provide her with an alibi on the day that Stompei Moketsi was beaten.

Mrs Mandela has denied any involvment in the killing.

The allegation comes towards the end of a week of hearings into Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's involvement in eight murders, plus other kidnappings and assaults, carried out in the 1980s.


[ image: Allegations centre on the activities of the Mandela United Football Club]
Allegations centre on the activities of the Mandela United Football Club
One witness has already told the commission that Dr Asvat suggested taking Stompie Seikei to hospital after he was beaten by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's bodyguards.

Stompie, who was 14, died afterwards. In 1991, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was convicted of his kidnapping.

Mr Mbatha was convicted of Dr Asvat's murder in 1989 and sentenced to 30 years in jail.

He told the BBC: "The gun that killed Dr Asvat ... we get it from Mrs Mandela's hands.

"She just go somewhere inside the other room and came back with it. It was folded with a piece of sheet.

He added he would appeal to the Asvat family during his testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

"I don't know what I can do for them," he said. "If I was God, I was going to do something that will console them, but what I ask is that I wish to meet them and apologise to them for what I have done."



Cyril Mbatha made his allegations in an interview with BBC Correspondent George Alagiah
BBC South Africa Correspondent Richard Downes: Cyril Mbatha may be ostracised in prison





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