AS IT HAPPENED: Investigations into Winnie 'took place at behest of Tony Leon' - Mufamadi

2018-04-16 11:00

Former safety and security minister Sydney Mufamadi, in response to claims in a documentary that he was behind a probe into Winnie Madikizela-Mandela aimed at discrediting her, has reiterated it was Tony Leon who was behind the reopening of the investigation.

Former cabinet minister Sydney Mufamadi at Cosatu'

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Last Updated at 08:04
16 Apr 11:57

16 Apr 11:55

16 Apr 11:10

The French filmmaker behind the Winnie documentary, Pascale Lamche, answers questions following Mufamadi's briefing.

16 Apr 11:03

And with that final statement, Mufamadi ends the briefing.

16 Apr 11:01

Mufamadi: "In this documentary I see a Nelson Mandela that is not known to the people of South Africa."

"We must not forget that we have something that no other country has, and that is Nelson Mandela. I listened to many people who were suddenly beginning to forget this prized asset."

16 Apr 10:55

What I came here to say, Mufamadi says, is that "we must not be misled by people who were opposed to our freedom, into thinking that we must act according to what they tell us about us. That is really the message I wanted to convey to the people of South Africa."

16 Apr 10:54

Mufamadi: "I had no indication that someone had wanted me to appear on the documentary... I have no indication someone thought I was important enough to give my version in the documentary..."

"I don't know what must happen going forward," Mufamadi says, while also saying he didn't call a press conference for an apology. 

16 Apr 10:49

Mufamadi: "Why are we taking Tony Leon out of the equation? 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."

16 Apr 10:48

16 Apr 10:48

16 Apr 10:37

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16 Apr 10:35

Mufamadi responds: "Yes... if I talk about what I remember in the context of having met him (Heslinga) we will be here all day. I may have met him at the Goldstone Commission, because I headed the peace desk of the ANC." 

"So I may have met him there - there was nothing outstanding about him when I met him."

16 Apr 10:29

Mufamadi is pointedly asked: "Did you ever meet Hank Heslinga, and were you aware of the fact that he was part of the team investigating Winnie Madikizela-Mandela?"

16 Apr 10:24

16 Apr 10:24

Mufamadi, while still answering questions from journalists, says "Remember, I am also a victim here..." 

16 Apr 10:23

Mufamadi now speaks about Stratcom files, and mentions one specifically held on journalist and former Weekly Mail editor Anton Harber, who had asked for access to Stratcom files.

16 Apr 10:18

16 Apr 10:17

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16 Apr 10:13

Mufamadi says there was a police investigation into Comrade Winnie, before they went into government. "Then when we went into government, Tony Leon goes to see the commissioner, and caused the commissioner to reopen the investigation." 

"People say, 'Comrade Sydney can't say he didn't know', and I never said I did not know, because commissioner Fivaz cannot do an investigation of that kind, without telling his minister..."

16 Apr 10:10

Mufamadi: "I don't remember sitting down with Paul Erasmus and having tea... I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I don't remember. In the position in which I was, I met many people."

16 Apr 10:07

Mufamadi said when he saw Heslinga's interview, he wondered, "What in God's world is happening, how can this man lie with such a straight face?" 

16 Apr 10:06

Mufamadi is now taking questions. 

16 Apr 10:05

Mufamadi: "I still maintain that those of us who fought for the liberation of this country alongside Comrade Winnie, are the authorities on what happened, and why it happened." 

16 Apr 10:03

16 Apr 10:03

Mufamadi: "Hank Heslinga was seconded to the Goldstone Commission, unsolicited by the police. Of course they accepted him, but some credibility issues arose, as a result of which the commission said, 'Well, you gave us this man, unsolicited, thank you very much, you can have him back'. You can talk to Goldstone, he's still alive." 

"I'm sure they (the documentary filmmakers) did not know this part. Because they would have known that maybe Fivaz would've given them a more reliable account to anchor a chilling finding on a person whose place in history is the one I've just outlined." 

"It's not information that we could share in a way that I'm now being forced to share."

16 Apr 09:56

16 Apr 09:56

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16 Apr 09:54

Mufamadi says he received a call from the EFF commander-in-chief, Julius Malema, last night. Says Malema told him that when he addresses the claims in the documentary during his briefing, he should do it in such a way that it doesn't cause more fighting. Mufamadi says he was receptive to Malema's advice.

16 Apr 09:52

Mufamadi: "You don't destroy someone, and then nominate them for a national award. It's an absurdity, to even suggest that."

"So I'm saying Comrade Winnie's legacy, is not a matter of conjecture, the sort of conjectures you see in the documentary - 'perhaps the leadership of the ANC gave Nelson Mandela an ultimatum to divorce his wife'... oh please." 

"If the ANC were to say to me, 'Divorce your wife', I would tell them this is a private matter in relation to the ANC, it means you don't know your ANC if you give me that order. The ANC does not discuss those things."

16 Apr 09:47

Mufamadi: "Now I'm going to tell you a secret, which must remain a secret between us... The comrades had said to continue to reach out to Comrade Winnie... I get a call the night before we had to go to FNB Stadium, to receive Comrade Walter Sisulu and the other comrades who had just been released from prison, and I got a phone call from Europe." 

Mufamadi says he was asked to transcribe OR Tambo's speech given to him via telephone, and he had gone to Comrade Winnie to ask her to help him type it up, "walking through all the members of the Mandela United football club" to get to her. 

16 Apr 09:37

Mufamadi makes reference to the Mandela United football club, and Madikizela-Mandela's involvement with it. Says the ANC had concerns about what was happening at the Mandela United football club.

16 Apr 09:35

Mufamadi: "Whether it happened deliberately or inadvertently, the story in the way it is told, it assimilates Comrade Winnie's positive legacy on balance... it assimilates that legacy, into the Stratcom narrative. You might as well just ask the chief of Stratcom operations to write a biography of Winnie Mandela, if you want to approach it this way, that the views of her own comrades must be subservient to the views of Stratcom..."

16 Apr 09:30

Mufamadi: "Killing of civilians on their part... was a political act." 

16 Apr 09:27

16 Apr 09:27

Mufamadi: "Comrade Nomzamo Winnie Mandela went to the TRC - she had a conviction of kidnapping, and you needed amnesty for that. I also had a conviction of kidnapping, I kidnapped a policeman before 1994... I needed amnesty." 

"Comrade Winnie and I are not the only leaders who went to the Truth Commission, there are others who did."

16 Apr 09:24

16 Apr 09:23

Mufamadi: "You can see when you listen to Erasmus, that he planted himself on the wrong side... it's all he was trained to do, dividing the people."

"It was a very difficult task we faced, when we got into government..."

"By virtue of where I was sitting in that dispensation, I received delegations of people who were operatives in these Stratcom operations, especially the ones who were peeling away from Vlakplaas, which was one of the seats of Stratcom... I listened to chilling stories..."

16 Apr 09:19

Mufamadi says that there was a perception that "you could not be a member of the ANC, and not be radical," thanks to the work of Stratcom at the time.

16 Apr 09:17

Mufamadi: "We knew we had a responsibility to demilitarise the police."

16 Apr 09:16

Mufamadi: "We ran ethical governments in the ministry of safety and security and in the department of safety and security." Says he knows how things were run before 1994.

16 Apr 09:15

16 Apr 09:15

Mufamadi makes reference to former police head Henk Heslinga, the "dramatis personae" in the documentary. 

16 Apr 09:14

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16 Apr 09:07

Mufamadi mentions that the documentary is award-winning, and says he knows the documentary maker is "here", and then questions whether those who decided to give the documentary various awards had considered issues of ethics.

16 Apr 09:05

Mufamadi starts off by making direct reference to the documentary Winnie, directed by French filmmaker Pascale Lamche, and mentions the "five chilling revelations", with specific reference to revelation number five.

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