JOHANNESBURG December 4 1997 - SAPA


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela could not substantiate claims that a Truth and Reconciliation Commission witness and three journalists were informers, or that the commission had bribed another witness to testify, the TRC heard on Thursday.

Madikizela-Mandela refused to answer questions about the informer allegations, putting them to her advocate Ishmail Semenya, who later also refused to answer the queries.

Semenya said there was no reason to withdraw the allegations.

TRC chief legal adviser Hanif Vally requested TRC chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu to see that it be entered on the record that they had both refused to answer.

Vally further requested that it be noted that slander against the TRC had not been backed up by Madikizela-Mandela and Semenya.

Truth commissioner Dumisa Ntsebeza said the three reporters who Madikizela-Mandela named did not appear on any former security police propaganda body (Stratcom) lists of informers.

TRC investigator Piers Pigou put it to Madikizela-Mandela that people who spoke out against her and the football club were branded as informers.

She said she was not aware of any such people, but said her accusations came from "information I had at the time".

Pigou said: "You have yet to provide any information that they were informers."

Pigou was talking about witness Evodia Nkadimeng, who told the commission on Tuesday she was falsely accused by Madikizela-Mandela of being a police spy.

When Pigou asked about Nkadimeng, Madikizela-Mandela said she had behaved like an informer.

Pigou said a Sunday newspaper reported a TRC witness, Gift Ntombeni, had been paid, or received money, to testify. Semenya was quoted in the article. Madikizela-Mandela said Semenya could answer for himself, which he later refused to do.

In earlier testimony Madikizela-Mandela coloured her remarks with racist overtones, dismissing a leading figure of the Mandela crisis committee, Murphy Morobe, as Murphy "Patel" because he aligned himself with an (Indian) cabal.

She also alleged former United Democratic Front leader Azhar Cachalia was part of the cabal.

Pigou asked whether she had any factual proof about so-called cabals activities designed to discredit her, and what cause the internal liberation movement would have for doing so.

Madikizela-Mandela replied: "I cannot prove (that) to you."

After the hearing Cachalia told Sapa: "That's nonsense. I don't occupy a leadership position in the ANC. Her charge is misconceived."

Cachalia is the head of the secretariat of the Safety and Security Ministry.

South African Press Association, 1997
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