Winnie Mandela gave false alibi at trial, TRC told

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The Independent Online
An apartheid-era security policeman yesterday claimed that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela gave a false alibi during her trial for the kidnap and assault of a murdered teenage activist.

Daniel Bosman, responsible for bugging Mrs Mandela's Soweto home in the late 1980s, told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - the body investigating South Africa's apartheid past - that he had seen transcripts of telephone conversations which showed Mrs Mandela was in Soweto when Stompie Seipei Moeketsi, 14, was assaulted in her home.

At the trial of members of her notorious bodyguards, the Mandela United Football Club, for Stompie's murder, Mrs Mandela claimed she had been in the Free State town of Brandfort when it happened.

At TRC hearings in December witnesses portrayed Mrs Mandela as a violent and unpredictable woman who led the assault on Stompie, after accusing him of being a police spy. Others claimed she ordered and even carried out his murder. In the 1991 trial the Brandfort alibi cleared her of assault though she was convicted of kidnapping the boy.

Mr Bosman said the telephone tapes were destroyed before the 1994 democratic elections. "Instructions were received that all documents had to be destroyed and ... everything was shredded and burnt." Mr Bosman said he believed the information had been "too sensitive to use". Thirteen former security policemen yesterday testified about the police's relationship with Mrs Mandela who at previous hearings has been portrayed both as a police informer and a victim of a smear campaign. She has been implicated in eight murders.