BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 6 February, 2003, 12:26 GMT
Winnie Mandela saves the day
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie remains hugely popular with ANC supporters
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela managed to end a hostage drama at a South African university in just a few minutes after top negotiators made little headway for five hours on Wednesday.

A student reacted to being told he could not continue his studies, by using a kitchen knife to threaten an official from Wits University in Johannesburg.

She told him to hand the hostage to her and then give himself up. He did exactly that

Acting vice-chancellor Professor Loyisa Nongxa
Police negotiators, university officials and even the education minister were unable to persuade Thapelo Moselenyana, 22, to give himself up.

He forced his hostage, Glenda Lane, to call the office of Education Minister Kader Asmal.

Mr Asmal immediately went to Wits campus and spoke to him for about half an hour, to little avail.

Crack police hostage negotiators then tried, and failed, to free Ms Lane.

Hugely popular

But then Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, the divorced wife of Nelson Mandela and still a senior figure in the ruling African National Congress, took an interest.

"She told him to hand the hostage to her and then give himself up. He did exactly that," said acting vice-chancellor Professor Loyisa Nongxa.

Mr Moselenyana was immediately arrested and police say he will be charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, intimidation and assault.

Wits University registrar said that Mr Moselenyana had been owing fees of some 10,000 rand ($1,200) for more than a year and so he had not been allowed to reregister.

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela is an extremely controversial figure.

Last year, she went on trial on charges of fraud of 1m rand ($120,000).

However, she remains hugely popular and was recently re-elected to the ANC leadership and remains president of its women's league.

Even greater controversy came when she was charged by senior anti-apartheid activists with involvement in the killing of a 14-year-old township militant, Stompie Seipei.

She denied the allegations but was found guilty of kidnapping and sentenced to six years' imprisonment.

This was reduced to a fine by an appeal court.


Key stories

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

09 Jul 02 | Africa
08 Jul 02 | Africa
09 Jul 02 | Africa
08 Jul 02 | Africa
30 Oct 98 | Truth and Reconciliation
27 May 99 | South Africa elections
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes