The Stompie Seipei Sage
Zandberg, Jacobus S. W.
Format Extent1 artwork
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Copyright Stellenbosch University
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Description of Artwork James Seipei was born in 1974. At age 10, he had already made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s youngest political activists against the apartheid system. Known as Stompie Moeketsi or Stompie Seipei, James was also fondly referred to as the ‘Young General’ and frequently encouraged other young people to take part in the struggle. At the age of 14, James, along with four other boys, was kidnapped from Bishop Paul Verryn’s home and beaten by members of the Mandela United Football Club, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s personal bodyguards. His body was discovered on 6 January 1989, dumped near her house. Following the murder, the three surviving boys accused Bishop Verryn of sexual misconduct, but have since retracted their claims, stating that they were forced by their abductors to make these accusations. Ms Madikizela-Mandela pleaded innocence to allegations of orchestrating the abduction and murder. This did not stop the National Party’s use of the murder as propaganda, nor the rumours that James Seipei’s murder was tied to the murder of his doctor, Dr Abu Baker Asvat. Layered with uncertainty and allegations that both James and his murderer, Jerry Richardson, were police informants, the case of Stompie Seipei serves as a horrible reminder of the complexities inherent in oppression and resistance.
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