#SydneyMufamadi denies allegations in #Winnie documentary
Johannesburg - Former cabinet minister Sydney Mufamadi denied that he approached the then special security branch to re-open an investigation into the murder of teenage activist Stompie Seipei, as told in the documentary "Winnie", which explored late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's tumultuous life.
Mufamadi shot down a version in the documentary told by the then head of the murder and robbery squad Henk Hesslinger. Hesslinger claimed Mufamadi, as the then safety and security minister, approached him in 1995 to reopen the investigation.
“The minister told me we must re-start the investigation into all cases on Winnie Mandela from Stompie right through and try to get evidence so that she can be tried for murder,” Hesslinger claims in the documentary.
“The minister gave us carte blanche money- wise, logistics- wise and said we can travel throughout the world,” Hesslinger said.
But opening an investigation was the responsibility of a police commissioner, and not minister, said Mufamadi.
"As a senior officer, Hesslinger knew better....and why would I tell him that I am a member of the ANC NEC? Why was that relevant to him?" asked Mufamadi.
He said the police did not have a slush fund, as alleged by Hesslinger.
The award-winning documentary was first aired publicly in the aftermath of Madikizela-Mandela's death. It drew an outcry after it showed how a propaganda plan was hatched allegedly by some in Madikizela-Mandela's beloved ANC, apartheid government leaders and journalists to weaken her politically.
Mufamadi said he had waited for the official mourning period for Winnie to end before speaking out and says he was never given an opportunity to state his side of the story.
Mufamadi criticised the producer of the documentary, Pascale Lamche for not allowing him a right of reply.
"They say it's an award-winning documentary, I ask myself whether those who give the awards consider the issue of ethics. People against whom these chilling allegations are made are alive and available... they have a right to put forward their version."
He said Madikizela-Mandela was not the only ANC leader to appear before the TRC, as several others did, including himself, for kidnapping a police officer during the heydays of apartheid.
Mufamadi currently heads the University of Johannesburg's School of Leadership.