Meet John Lawrence, the man who died protecting Winnie Mandela

Meet John Lawrence, the man who died protecting Winnie Mandela

- John Lawrence was Winnie Mandela's bodyguard and he passed away on this day in 1993

- He was shot by a pedestrian while driving in the Joburg CBD 26 years ago

- It was ruled out as a politically-motivated killing

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On 20 November 1993, Winnie Mandela and her bodyguard, John Lawrence, were driving through Johannesburg when they were attacked. The resulting shoot-out left John Lawrence dead.

Mandela and Lawrence had been driving though the centre of Joburg when Lawrence had a disagreement with a pedestrian. It is alleged that Lawrence slapped the pedestrian before pulling out his gun.

Lawrence then got back into the car, but was followed by the pedestrian who was also armed. A shoot-out ensued and both men died.

At the time of this event 26 years ago, Winnie Mandela was still married to Nelson Mandela. She was not injured.

Authorities eliminated the possibility of the killing being politically motivated, but ANC leadership has acknowledged that assassination attempts were rife at the time.

Winnie Mandela's statement confirmed the information released by the police.

READ ALSO: From Tembisa to Paris: Local pantsula crew represents Mzansi abroad previously reported that in 1975, Winnie Mandela was released from a banning order and house arrest. This banning order was not reimposed for a brief period of time.

At the time of her release she was on the last national executive committee of the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL), along with other legends of the women's struggle like Lilian Ngoyi, Florence Matomela and Frances Baard. The lift did not last long though as she was banished to isolation a few months later.

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