Winnie considers suing Mufamadi

Gaye Davis

A TRIUMPHANT Winnie Mandela is weighing up launching a civil suit for damages against Minister of Safety and Security Sydney Mufamadi, sources close to the deputy minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology indicated this week.

She consulted with her lawyer, Templeton Mageza, on Wednesday to “discuss the way forward” after the Rand Supreme Court set aside the search warrants which launched the high-profile police raid on her home and the offices of the Co-ordinated Anti-Poverty Programme. It was found that police affidavits supporting their application for the search warrants were vague and devoid of evidence that incriminating documents would be found.

However, the finding in her favour does not cancel out the possibility of criminal charges being laid against her—and she is still in hot water over travelling to West Africa against the orders of President Nelson Mandela.

The national consultative conference of the ANC Women’s League, scheduled for this weekend, has meanwhile been postponed to allow a meeting between the League’s national executive and top ANC officials—including President Mandela—to take place first.

The conference, aimed at resolving problems in the League which emerged with the resignation in February of 11 members of its national executive, will now take place on April 8 and 9 at a venue to be confirmed. The 11—most of them veteran women’s rights activists—would attend as they were still members of the League, an NEC member said.

Attempts were under way this week to co-ordinate the diaries of President Mandela, deputy president Thabo Mbeki, secretary-general Cyril Ramaphosa, his deputy Cheryl Carolus, national chairperson Jacob Zuma and treasurer, Reverend Arnold Stofile, with those of the 25-member Women’s League national executive.

Carolus said if logistical problems could be overcome, the meeting could take place on Tuesday.
“The matter is an absolute priority for us,” she said. The meeting would try to resolve the problems in the League and rebuild unity.

“Obviously, the conference would not be very constructive if there is no unity in the leadership. There are serious problems in the League and we need to solve them. It’s much better to do so before going into a massive conference.”

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