New Charges Emerge Over Mandela Guard

From Times Wire Services

The scandal around South African activist Winnie Mandela's bodyguards deepened Monday with more charges of murder and attempted murder.

A former bodyguard, who appeared in a Johannesburg court charged with the murder of another guard, said fellow bodyguards had also tried to kill him, state-run television news reported.

And two youths appeared in a Soweto court charged with killing a doctor who has been called a key witness in the alleged assaults on four youths by the bodyguards.

The members of the so-called Mandela United soccer club had served as bodyguards to Mandela, the wife of imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson R. Mandela.

Allegations of the bodyguards' involvement in the abduction and beating of four black youths in Soweto late last year have caused major anti-apartheid groups to sever links with Winnie Mandela.

The body of one youth, 14-year-old Stompie Mokhetsi Seipie, was later found in a ditch.

Mandela has denied allegations of personal involvement in the beatings but has agreed to relocate members of the soccer team who had been living at her residence.

In the Johannesburg court, former bodyguard Andrew Leretedi Ekaneng, 20, appeared in connection with the murder of bodyguard Maxwell Madonda, 23, the television news said. Madonda was stabbed to death last week.

Ekaneng then displayed a knife wound across his neck. He, in turn, has lodged a charge of attempted murder, accusing fellow bodyguards of trying to slit his throat after an argument at Mandela's house.

He was not asked to enter a plea, the television news said. Police declined to comment.

In Soweto, two youths briefly appeared in court charged with killing Dr. Abu Baker Asvat, an anti-apartheid campaigner who Mandela has said could have corroborated her contention that the four abducted youths were being sexually abused. Others have indicated he might have given evidence against the bodyguards. Police have made no official link between the Seipie and Asvat deaths.

The youths, Nicholas Dlamini and Cyril Mbatha, were accused of shooting Asvat in his Soweto office late last month. The two made no pleas, and the case was transferred to a Johannesburg court.

Police on Sunday raided Mandela's Soweto home, later detaining four soccer club members in connection with the controversy. The four are to appear in court today.

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