Probe linked to Mandela's ex wife

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Photo / Getty Images
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Photo / Getty Images

South African prosecutors say they have launched a fresh probe into the disappearance in 1988 of two youths reportedly last seen with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela.

A specialised unit investigating missing persons said it has unearthed new information about the disappearance of Lolo Sono and Siboniso Shabalala, who went missing without trace in November 1988.

The case is one of about 500 missing persons cases referred to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which probed apartheid-era crimes.

"The investigations into this case are still ongoing and possible burial sites are still being examined on the basis of recently obtained information," Makhosini Nkosi, spokesman for the unit in the National Prosecuting Authority, said.

The mother of Sono testified to the TRC that Madikizela-Mandela was present when she last saw her son.

Madikizela-Mandela was accused of ordering four grisly murders of youth activists, including that of Stompie Sepei, in the 1980s when she surrounded herself with bands of young male thugs christened the Mandela United Football Club. That entourage was blamed for at least 18 deaths in Soweto.

Madikizela-Mandela was sentenced to six years for the kidnapping of Sepei. The term was later scrapped on appeal and she was never jailed.

Mandela stood by her when she was convicted of kidnapping Sepei.


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