Winnie Mandela, the controversial ‘Mother of the Nation’

PRETORIA – The death of anti-apartheidsactiviste Winnie Mandela was in his own country both a popular, if reviled. She got the pet name of the Mother of the Nation, by the stoic calm with which she threats and harassment from the then – white government faced, but within the anti-apartheid movement was its position is controversial.

Especially the death of ‘Stompie’ Seipei, a fourteen-year-old black ANC activist who in 1989 murdered in a ditch was found, her much harm done. The court ruled that Winnie Mandela was aware of the kidnapping and assault of Stompie by her bodyguards. On appeal she came there with a fine from.

She began her political career after her husband, ANC leader Nelson Mandela in 1964 to life imprisonment was condemned. In its campaign for a non-racist, democratic South Africa alone they have constant orders from the government, which her silenced attempted to make. The restrictions were in 1986 of the table. Many critics argue that the public attention that followed led to her collisions with the black community.


At that time it was Mandela, for example, at a funeral, a speech in which she announced that , we are the country with our matches and necklaces will free” (a reference to the way to get people to kill them with burning car tyres around the neck). The leadership of the ANC in exile, condemned her statement. Also put the bad blood between the shacks in Soweto a villa for himself had built.

Leading figures of the ANC, that more and more of Winnie’s statements bapak, formed a crisiscomité her for more transgressions had to protect. However, she remained popular with the radical wing of the ANC. That caused divisions within the party. Her husband, Nelson, stayed for a long time behind her.

Fraud and theft

Winnie met Nelson Mandela in 1956, when he was already a well-known figure in politics. They were married in 1958. She was deputy minister in the first post-apartheidskabinet (1994), but had to be after eleven months leave. In 1996 separated the pair, and she was Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Years later, she got five years in prison for fraud and theft, but that was later converted into a suspended sentence. It turned to loans from a bank in the name of non-existing members of the women’s section of the ANC, where Winnie was president of was. She gave up after her condemnation, her parlementszetel on and dropped to her political ambitions.

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