Stompie Seipei’s murderer goes to jail

Stompie Seipei

Wednesday, 8 August 1990

The Rand Supreme Court sentences Jerry Richardson to death for the murder 14-year-old Stompie Seipei. Stompie Seipei was a child activist and member of the infamous Mandela Football Club established by Winnie Mandela as a front for the political mobilisation of township youths to stand against apartheid. Jerry Richardson abducted Seipei and three other boys near the Methodist Church (Manse), Soweto and took him to Winnie Mandela's home. Richardson alleged that Winnie Mandela initiated the torture of Seipei, who was sjamboked and bounced on the floor by Richardson.

Seipei was allegedly tortured and killed for sexual misconduct with a Methodist reverend Paul Verryn who was accused by some of the boys for having homosexual practices with young boys. Winnie Mandela also accused Seipei for being a police informer, a charge that carried a death penalty in terms of township mob justice.

Winnie Mandela denied any involvement in the death of Stompie Seipei and accused Richardson for lying. However, the judge implicated Winnie Mandela in Stompie Seipei's death by ruling that she was present when Stompie Seipei was tortured. The death of Seipei continued to haunt Winnie Mandela until some closure was reached when Winnie Mandela accepted, before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, some responsibility for the death of Seipei. Winnie Mandela had already apologised to Seipei's mother for the loss of her son, but maintained her innocence.

References:
• Reporter. (1990). Court to decide the fate of Stompie's killer, The Daily Mail, pg 2.
• Braid, M., (1997), 'Stompie's ghost refuses to rest in peace', 29 June [Online], Available at www.independent.co.uk [Accessed: 06 August 2013]

Last updated : 19-Sep-2016

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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