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Winnie Mandela

(87 Posts)
Anniebach Mon 02-Apr-18 16:24:43

Winnie has died. I hope history will be kind to her, she suffered so much.


Grannyknot Mon 02-Apr-18 17:42:22

Annie she did suffer and that cannot be undone, and for that she deserves sympathy. However, she was directly implicated in the murder (by her bodyguards) of a child, she rampantly misused her position to fraudulently obtain loans and financial gain, she fell far short of setting the type of example that she could have set post-apartheid to contribute to peace instead of inciting the dreadful torture of "necklacing" her own people. She should have learnt from Nelson, her then husband, who distanced himself from her by divorcing her.

She should have fought the ANC's decline into corruption and lack of delivery, just as hard as she fought against Apartheid in the early days. Then history could rightly have judged her kindly.

maryeliza54 Mon 02-Apr-18 17:55:31

I agree with ab. She lived under one of the most evil regimes known to man - our country supported that regime in so many ways. It’s easy to expect the impossible from her - all the things she should have done. I will never forget the apologists for SA in this country and MTs support for them, the Conservative Students and their Hang Mandela badges. She lived a life that none of us can imagine and suffered so much. RIP

Eloethan Mon 02-Apr-18 18:10:56

I suppose, like most people, she did good things and bad things. But I do recall her being implicated in the very brutal "necklacing" of people who were thought to have informed on ANC members, and for that reason, my feelings about her are mixed.

maryeliza54 Mon 02-Apr-18 18:17:36

She never gave in. Not one inch - and sometimes, this landed her in trouble. As anti-apartheid activists Mosioua Lekota noted in her defence: "Those who did nothing under apartheid never made mistakes."
She will be remembered for her fight against an inhumane system, rather than for the mistakes she made in that fight.

From the BBC website

BlueBelle Mon 02-Apr-18 18:27:27

‘Implemented’ is the word she always denied it and we know how smear campaigns work don’t we ? Only she will ever know if she was guilty or not but my goodness she was a fighter I hope she is thought of for all her brave acts She has Desmond Tutu on her side and I believe him to be a good and honest man

BlueBelle Mon 02-Apr-18 18:28:18

Sorry implicated not implemented
Oh for an edit button..... sigh

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 19:08:31

I've just watched the news and seen the item about the passing of Winnie Mandela. TBH I was rather shocked to hear her referred to as 'the mother of the nation'.

She had blood on her hands, and not just the blood of that 14 year old boy.

I don't doubt that she suffered but she caused the suffering of others.

You said in you OP Annie that you hope history will be kind to her. I hope history gives an honest and true account of her life; warts and all.

This is from one of her body guards, Jerry Richardson at the 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' : "My hands are full of blood today because I would be instructed to kill and I would do as I was told".

He told of using garden shears to kill Stompie Seipie in 1982 after beating him for days. He said Mrs. Mandella participated in the beatings using her hands, fists and a whip, but she never did any of the killing. This is from the New York Times in 1997.

He went on to say that he participated in 4 killings that she ordered, saying that when he returned from one such killing, she embraced him and said "my boy, my boy".

The Truth Commission which is charged with investigating apartheid-era atrocities, has been holding hearings on the role of Mrs. Mandela and her football club in 18 cases of murder or assault in the 1980's.

With her as mother of the nation, perhaps the nation would have been better an orphan.

Eloethan Mon 02-Apr-18 19:15:48

In a speech in 1986 Winnie Mandela is reported to have said:

""with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we will liberate this country."

Of course, the horrors of the apartheid regime are well known and it is perhaps understandable that people who have been brutalised sometimes resort to using the same levels of brutality as were used on them. But, whatever the provocation, I don't think it should be encouraged or justified.

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 19:29:52

I agree Eloethan she didn't just encourage or justify necklacing she advocated it.

Anniebach Mon 02-Apr-18 19:43:56

Winnie married age 22, had two children and at 29 her husband was sentenced to life imprisonment. Life must have been hard for Mandela in prison but for Winnie? She was brutalised , her homes demolished, placed in solitary confinement , she led the campaign to free Mandela, she fought for 27 years regardless of constant persecution. She lived in .Soweto which had suffered mass murder. She never gave up. Mandela said he felt guilt over Winnie, he should have. She suffered much more than he did.

Easy to say she should have done this or shouldn't have done that. Life during apartheid was hell for the black S,A. what was is like for this woman. She fought for her people, Mandela had 27 years to ponder , Winnie had 27 years of hell but never gave up. When he was dying Winnie was with Mandela, they both sacrificed their lives to fight an evil regime .

How many of us could have lived her life.

Iam64 Mon 02-Apr-18 19:45:21

I accept she lived under a brutal regime but I have a horror of murder and brutality, whatever the 'provocation'.

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 19:56:25

I'm sorry Annie but how many of us could have carried out her acts of evil?

The beating to death of a 14 year old boy and the advocating of necklacing. Committing an act of violence in self defense is one thing, orchestrating and taking part in acts of violence for a cause, regardless of how 'good' a cause that may be, is another entirely.

Apartheid was terrible but is it right when an evil regime is overthrown, to use acts of violence and brutality to secure one's position of newly acquired power?

She didn't just acquire power, she also acquired great wealth at the expense no doubt of her 'children'; those of her people living in abject poverty.

Anniebach Mon 02-Apr-18 20:17:02

What power? It is so easy to be noble from thousands of miles away. Are all those paying tribute Today liars? Someone I care for was beaten to death because he covered the body of a little girl who police were urinating on. What did she witness , what did she endure

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 20:30:19

There is nothing noble in speaking out against acts of terror and brutality Annie it's about being human, about being decent.

She had power because she was the wife of the President. She clearly had sufficient power and influence to order the beating and execution of others.

"Are all those paying tribute Today liars?" Are all those who witnessed and took part in the atrocities she ordered and in some cases took part in liars?

Anniebach Mon 02-Apr-18 20:35:50

She was wife of a prisoner for 27 years, wife of a president for less than 4.

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 20:48:01

What does that have to do with her using her hands, fists and a whip against a 14 year old boy? Does that excuse her then Annie?

In your OP you said that you hoped history would be kind to her. I posted that I hoped history would give a true and honest account of her life, so let's do that.

Yes, she suffered but others suffered at her hands and on her orders.

maryeliza54 Mon 02-Apr-18 20:57:19

ab has said everything I want to but so much better - I’d like to know what all of you on your high horses did to fight the utter utter utter evil of apartheid - the average SA policeman carried out more evil in one day in his life that she did in all her days / I’m with Tutu on this

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 21:07:50

No one's saying that apartheid was anything other than evil maryeliza but why accuse those who can recognize the bad that someone has done of being on their high horse?

There are many who do and will revere this woman, but see her for what she was and what she did. She had blood on her hands; the blood of a 14 year old boy for whose kidnapping she was indicted and was given a 6 year prison sentence later reduced to a fine.

BlueBelle Mon 02-Apr-18 21:19:01

Do we ever know the truth though ?

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 21:38:39

I don't know Bluebell but in order to have any hope in finding it, we have to be prepared to acknowledge all aspects of someone's life and not ignore the parts we find unpalatable.

Anniebach Mon 02-Apr-18 21:45:26

The death of the boy was wrong, that age at that time was not that of a fifteen year old in this country. He betrayed his people, how many children died during all those years.

I am not condoning his killing but after many years deeply involved with the fight against apartheid, knowing people who suffered. I have a friend who parents were imprisoned for distributing leaflets defending .Mandela, the family were forced to leave the country, they are white, if black they would have been shot. I was proud to have met Donald Woods who was a friend of Steve Biko, his books were turned into the film Cry Freedom.

I will defend Winnie Mandela, easy to judge her for her hatred of those who caused her much suffering . She was the first black S.A. To become a social worker , she was gentle until her husband was imprisoned and she took up his fight . She deserves the state funeral she is being honoured with. And yes I do hope history will be kind to her, not judge her as harshly as she is being judged here.

Smileless2012 Mon 02-Apr-18 22:08:27

He was accused of betraying his people but was not given a trial and the brutality of his death was a far harsher judgement than any that she is receiving on this thread.

You hope history will be kind; I hope history will be honest.

Grannyknot Mon 02-Apr-18 22:30:40

From memory, "The Arch" as Desmond Tutu is fondly known as in S.A. had to beseech Winnie Mandela to make full use of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission - as reported in The Independent today:

"Anguished pleading from TRC chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu could only persuade her to go as far as saying, grudgingly, that “things went horribly wrong”.

In its final report, the TRC ruled that Ms Madikizela-Mandela was "politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights committed by the Mandela United Football Club".

May her troubled soul R.I.P.

Iam64 Mon 02-Apr-18 22:42:34

Yes Grannyknot, May her troubled soul rest in peace