'Comrades' unearth missing Stompie's body

"Comrades" yesterday unearthed the body of "Stompie" Moeketsi, the 14-year-old missing youth at the centre of the controversy surrounding the Winnie Mandela "football team". According to a leading Soweto activist, who declined to be named, the "comrades" found the body in Soweto. However details as to where and how the body was found were not known last night—though they were likely to be aired in a meeting of the Mandela Crisis Committee which was in progress in Soweto.

"Stompie", who real name has been given as James Sepei, of Tumahole, Parys, was one of four youths allegedly abducted from a Soweto church by the football team in December. One of the youths escaped, two others were released after the intervention of Nelson Mandela and ANC leader Oliver Tambo. "Stompie", however, was missing—until yesterday.
The crisis committee, formed last year to deal with the problems surrounding Winnie
Mandela, has been dealing with attempts to find Stompie and sort out the "football team". Last Friday was intended to be D-Day for the committee and the football team.

However, the plan fell through when Winnie Mandela failed to attend the meeting called by the crisis committee. Now the committee faces the question of how to respond to the fact that the state has entered the issue by announcing its intention to investigate the activities of Winnie Mandela and the "football team". This week, "Stompie's" mother, Joyce Sepei, mother of the missing youth, Stompie, said she had first heard of her son's fate when she attended a court case on January 12 in which Stompie was due to appear, charged with contravening the Emergency regulations. A lawyer at the trial informed her that her son had disappeared and he feared he might be dead.

The mother said she would like to talk to Winnie Mandela. "I told the American television that came here on Friday that I do not have anything against Winnie Mandela and those who took my son away. "I would just like to know why they took my son without me knowing, why they took him away without the permission of Paul (Verryn). I would like to ask them why they are not coming here to tell me where my son is." The child was in the Reverend Paul Verryn's care at a Soweto church when he was allegedly abducted.

"I would like to talk with Mrs Mandela. I have questions to ask her. I would ask her where my son is and how the group took him away; why they assaulted him; why they cannot bring him back. "I want my son dead or alive. I want to see his bones," she said. "I will go to (lawyer) Priscilla Jana in Johannesburg to ask her to help me look for the body of my son. I want to see him," she said.

Asked what she would do if the body of her son was not forthcoming she said that she would continue to pray for his return. Asked whether her son had ever complained about the treatment he received at the Methodist Church in Soweto, she said Stompie had "always said he was happy at Paul's home".

  • Meanwhile, it has emerged that the policeman investigating the "football team" is the same person who led the official probe into the Khanya and Khotso house bombs. He is Major-General Jaap Joubert, who was also responsible for a recent special investigation into rightwing activities. Minister of Law and Order Adriaan Vlok yesterday released a statement saying he had appointed a top South African detective to work on the case.

    "No charges are being contemplated. We are investigating very carefully all the allegations made against Mrs Mandela and her team," Vlok said. "I would like to point out that is it very difficult to find witnesses who are prepared to testify against Mrs Mandela,"' he added.

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Mail.

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