In her own words

By Drum Digital
25 October 2013

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela opens up to DRUM about her painful prison diaries – and the poignant process of getting them into print.

The name Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela Mandela always elicits a strong reaction. The sometimes controversial struggle icon is revered by many and loathed by others, almost in equal measure. She has many titles – mother of the nation, activist, devoted mother, and even “torturer” in some quarters. Recently she added one more title to her arsenal – that ofauthor.

The book, 491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69, is a collection of journal entries and letters between herself and Nelson Mandela during her incarceration under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act.

She was detained for the first time on 12 May 1969, held in a prison cell in a Pretoria women’s jail for nine months without being charged.

In February 1970, she and her fellow accused were charged, released and re-arrested.

The book chronicles her time in detention in horrific detail and heart-wrenching poignancy.

Read more in DRUM - 31 October 2013

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