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'Mandela Football Club used to spy on Winnie'

by Staff reporter
09 Apr 2018 at 07:09hrs | Views
Anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was the target of the apartheid regime's most concentrated propaganda campaign. A former security operative of Stratcom said there were spies planted in the Mandela Football Club.

Paul Erasmus has now also claimed – for the first time – that the entire club was made up of spies.

The 62-year-old revealed some of the tactics the Stratcom unit used to try and destroy Madikizela-Mandela's reputation.

Erasmus claimed that Stompie Seipei had also been spying on "Mama Winnie", who he claims to have come to respect and befriend later in life.

The recruitment of the young men in the infamous football club, he claimed was part of a Stratcom initiative to discredit Madikizela-Mandela and other struggle fighters that the regime considered too radical to negotiate with in the upcoming transition to democracy.

Erasmus claimed the campaign was very effective and that they managed to get everyone close to her at the time – the men in the club – to inform on her.

The whole operation was designed to spread false news about her with the hope of discrediting the entire ANC movement.

But for the unit to succeed, it needed solid information about Madikizela-Mandela's every move.

Erasmus says the people who helped gather top-level intelligence on the struggle stalwart were those closest to her, members of the infamous Mandela Football Club.

The former apartheid agent says he later became friends with Mama Winnie, and that's how he refers to her now.

The full interview with reporter Xoli Mngambi is available on eNCA's gallery.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Stompie's mother still believes Winnie was innocent.

In an interview given to the Sunday Times, the late Stompie Seipei's mother Joyce maintained that she never believed struggle icon Madikizela-Mandela had anything to do with her son's death.

She told the paper she believed his death had been ordered by someone in the Parys branch of the ANC.
Jerry Richardson, the "coach" of Madikizela-Mandela's Mandela United Football Club – a label given to her bodyguards – is believed to have killed Seipei in 1989, though he later offered several conflicting versions when confessing to it.

Madikizela-Mandela was convicted in 1991 of the kidnap and assault of the 14-year-old, allegedly because he was suspected of being an apartheid informer. Richardson, however, later said he had killed Seipei because the teenager found out that he was an informer.

Joyce Seipei said she had once run into Madikizela-Mandela, who had "humbled herself before us" and given Seipei money for her household after a brief conversation about her and her son.

Seipei's mother, however, maintains that there was no way her son could have been an informer.

"My son could keep secrets," she was quoted as saying.

Source - enca