On 14 May, 1991, Winnie Nomzamo Mandela was sentenced to six years in jail by a Johannesburg court presided over by Justice Michael Stahl Stegmann for her involvement in the kidnapping and beating of four youths suspected of being police informers.
One of the youths, 14-year old Stompie Seipei died from the injuries.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was found guilty on four charges of kidnapping and four of being an accessory after the fact to assault the day before. Winnie appealed against the verdict and the sentence was commuted to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence by the Appeals Court.
The assault and murder were committed by members of the Mandela United Football club, who acted as bodyguards and enforcers for Winnie. One of the members, Jerry Richardson, was sentenced to life for the murder. Richardson had also testified against Winnie in the criminal case and later in front of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
In 1992, Winnie Mandela was further accused of ordering the murder of Dr Abu Baker Asvat, a family friend and prominent Soweto doctor, who had examined Seipei at Mandela's house after he had been abducted. Asvat's murderer testified that she paid the equivalent of $8,000 and supplied the firearm used in the killing, which took place on 27 January, 1989.
The hearings were later adjourned due to claims that witnesses were being intimidated on Winnie Mandela's orders.
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