Winnie criticises ANC in letter

By Drum Digital
11 July 2012

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has criticised the ANC for "shabby treatment" and abusing the Mandela name, The Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

In a letter addressed to party spokesman Jackson Mthembu she wrote: "We [the Mandela family] only matter when we have to be used for some agenda."

Mthembu told Sapa on Wednesday morning: "We do not comment on internal communications."

The ANC MP and ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela reportedly wrote the letter in response to a request by Mthembu for a meeting on July 5 to discuss the ANC's centenary celebrations.

The meeting was also meant to address her travel to Limpopo where President Jacob Zuma gave a lecture honouring Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.

Madikizela-Mandela did not attend the event. Ndileka Mandela, a granddaughter from Mandela's first marriage instead delivered a message from her grandfather. Mandela's wife Graca Machel also attended Tuesday's event.

In the letter, Madikizela-Mandela said the family was deeply hurt as they were not allocated a table at the centenary celebrations in Mangaung in January before Bridgette Radebe, wife of Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, intervened.

Madikizela-Mandela complained she had been sidelined during preparations for the celebrations and that she was reduced to being a spectator in 2011.

She criticised the way the ANC's centenary flame was taken to Mandela at his home in Qunu, Eastern Cape, in May.

"There was no parade of the soldiers as there was to me. It was clear that it was done to someone's ego not to the family," she wrote.

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