POLITICS
09/04/2018 15:14 SAST | Updated 10/04/2018 07:50 SAST

Joyce Seipei: 'Only God Knows' The Truth About Stompie

"He was a naughty boy" - Stompie's mother.

There is little doubt that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be remembered as a proud advocate for the ANC and the Women's League.

However, following her death, theories about her role in the murder of Stompie Seipei have come clattering out of the cupboard like long-forgotten skeletons, hotly debated both in the media and on social networks. So who was Stompie Seipei, and how does his death relate to Winnie's legacy?

SA History

Stompie Seipei was 14 years old when he was found dead near Madikizela-Mandela's house in 1989, after being tortured following allegations that he was an apartheid police spy. According to The Citizen, it was alleged that he was spying on Madikizela-Mandela and was seen as a threat.

James Seipei, also known as Stompie Moeketsi, or Stompie Sepei, was a child activist with the United Democratic Front who was allegedly kidnapped by the infamous Mandela Football Club, before his decomposing body was found near Madikizela-Mandela's house in Soweto. It was evident his throat had been slit.

Eventually Jerry Richardson, the 'coach' of the football club, was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to life in prison. However, the question still remains whether he committed the murder under orders from, or in the presence of, Winnie herself.

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According to the Sunday Times, during the 1997 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu broke down and begged Madikizela-Mandela to apologise for her role in the murder of Stompie.

I do not know what the details are, I am yet to receive straight information about his death. At one point they said it was Winnie and Jerry, now the story has changed. I do not care, because God knows the truth –Joyce Seipei

Winnie later apologised to Stompie's mother, but did not take the blame for his murder. The 62-year-old says she was still in the dark about who actually ordered her son's death.

Although the Sunday Times has reported that Stompie's mom said "Mama Winnie didn't do anything", she has denied this.

When HuffPost sat down with Stompie's mother, Joyce Seipei, on Monday, she described her son as a "naughty boy", and recounted several battles with police around Tumahole in Parys in Free State. She also said that she did not have enough detail to acquit Winnie, or say for sure that the mother of the nation was not involved in her son's death.

"I do not know what the details are, I am yet to receive straight information about his death ... At one point they said it was Winnie and Jerry, now the story has changed. I do not care, because God knows the truth," she said.

Stompie's mother believes she is yet to find true justice for her son, but she says she has moved on and accepted his death.