16/04/2018 12:21 SAST | Updated 16/04/2018 12:22 SAST

Mufamadi Denies Reopening Probe Into Mam' Winnie

"There was a police investigation against Winnie before we came into government," Mufamadi said in a press conference on Monday.

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Sydney Mufamadi (L) – then SA's Minister of Safety and Security – addresses the media next to African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping (C) and United Nations' special representative to Zimbabwe Haile Menkerios (R) in Pretoria on July 18, 2008.

Former safety and security minister and ANC veteran Sydney Mufamadi has rubbished claims that he, and by extension the ANC, ordered that investigations into struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela be reopened.

Mufamadi held a press conference on Monday to respond to allegations set out in a documentary paying tribute to Madikizela-Mandela's life. In the documentary, it is alleged that Mufamadi ordered the reopening of investigations into various cases against Madikizela-Mandela, especially the Stompie Seipei murder case.

It further claimed that former head of murder and robbery at the police, Henk Heslinga, was taken to see Mufamadi in 1994 or 1995, where he was instructed to reopen the investigations.

Mufamadi began by taking a dig at the documentary.

"I believe the producer of this documentary is an award-winning producer and I know she's here. I wonder whether the people who give these awards regard issues of ethics as being of any materiality... We ran ethical governance in the ministry of safety and security. There were no slush funds," he said.

"This false division was created by Stratcom (an apartheid unit established to carry out disinformation campaigns) in order to create conditions for the liberation movement to be divided... We knew that this Stratcom business – counterinsurgency campaign – was not just a peculiarity of the special branch in South Africa. They did that because they wanted to preserve the system of apartheid which was fundamentally undemocratic."

He explained why the liberation movement distanced itself from Madikizela-Mandela.

"There was a time when the mass democratic movement got worried about things that were happening around Winnie – we had every right to be worried – things being done by the Mandela United Football Club in the name of Winnie, and [by] extension in the name of the movement," he said.

"We counselled comrade Winnie about keeping that outfit called the MUFC. She had her own views about the club. Out of frustration... the decision to distance the mass democratic movement from her came from that."

He said there was a police investigation against Madikizela-Mandela before the ANC arrived in government.

"When we came into government, Tony Leon approached the commissioner and asked for the investigation to be reopened... I am saying these investigations took place at the behest of Tony Leon – I'm talking about the ones that we know, right? They took place at the behest of Tony Leon."