Guard: Mandela Ex Ordered Killings
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) _ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela ordered the killings of suspected police informers in the late 1980s, her former chief bodgyguard testified today before a commission investigating apartheid-era political crimes.
Convicted murderer Jerry Richardson said his hands were ``full of blood″ from carrying out orders from President Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife to kill impipis, an African word for a police informer.
``If they labeled you as an impipi, there was no turning back. You would just have to kill the person,″ Richardson told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
When asked who issued the orders for such killings, he responded, ``Mami,″ his nickname for Madikizela-Mandela, known at the time as the ``mother of the nation.″
The Truth Commission is investigating 18 human rights abuses _ including murder and torture _ allegedly committed by Madikizela-Mandela’s gang, known as the Mandela United Football Club.
The commission lacks the power to press criminal charges, but it can turn over evidence to police for investigation.
Madikizela-Mandela, 63, arrived today for the eighth session of the public hearings wearing a bright blue outfit with embroidered sleeves over a white blouse. It was possible that she would testify later today.
She has long denied the accusations against her and the football club and requested the public hearings to clear up the charges, which allegedly happened in the black township of Soweto during the late 1980s.
At the time, she was married to Mandela, then an imprisoned activist. Mandela was released in 1990. The couple separated in 1992 and divorced last year, after which Madikizela-Mandela added her maiden name to her married name.
In his written statement to the commission, Richardson described how Madikizela-Mandela ordered an associate to ``dump″ two enemies, which Richardson said was the euphemism for killing them.
Richardson is serving a life sentence for the 1989 murder of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, who was accused of being a police informer. On Monday, Richardson carried an embroidered cloth he made in prison that said ``Jerry v/s (versus) Winnie.″
Madikizela-Mandela was convicted in 1991 of kidnapping Seipei and three other young men, who were beaten at her house by members of the football club. Seipei later was found dead.
Initially sentenced to six years in jail, Madikizela-Mandela eventually paid a $3,200 fine on appeal.
Two convicted murderers have said she offered to pay them $8,000 to murder a township doctor believed to have examined Seipei before the youth died.
An African National Congress activist said the football club burned her house in an attack that killed her niece. And former members of the football club described routine beatings of people who allegedly defied Madikizela-Mandela.
A former apartheid government agent testified last week that Madikizela-Mandela was monitored constantly by informers, telephone taps and bugging devices, but the government was reluctant to arrest her for any alleged crimes for fear of causing political instability, such as a backlash in the black community.
Madikizela-Mandela wants to run later this month for deputy president of the governing ANC, a position that could make her deputy president of the country after the next national election in 1999.
The mainstream ANC leadership, including her ex-husband, oppose her nomination and the ANC Women’s League she heads said Tuesday it would reconsider its support for her.