Winnie Mandela's full statement

By Drum Digital
19 December 2013

Statement from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lambasting the media for getting involved in the private and closed affairs of the Mandela family.

INTERFERENCE IN MANDELA FAMILY MATTERS AND ‘SUCCESSION DEBATE’ Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela would like to express her disappointment at the media’s interference in closed matters of the Mandela family. Furthermore, she rebukes unambiguously the attitude of the media towards the Mandela family, their mischievous innuendos and newsroom slugs designed to disgrace the family through their apartheid-style Stratcom tactics.  

Numerous articles, op-eds, reports and editorials in outlets such as The Citizen, The Times, The Sunday Tribune and The Star have hammered on the idea that the Mandela family is at war with itself since the news first broke that Madiba is no longer with us. These reports have done nothing but use half-truths to cast a shadow on the Mandela family during their time of bereavement. The latest editorial piece published in The Citizen newspaper deplorably titled ‘Time For Mandela Family To Behave’ is preposterous. Dissolute media outlets are last to prescribe ‘family behaviour’ to the Mandelas. This recent pattern is all the more worrisome in light of certain editors’ decision to negatively use the Mandela name on the front pages of their newspapers to draw revenue. Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela requests that all media running these discourteous media commentaries refrain from doing so. Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela has a wonderful relationship with the media and has been accessible to the media at all times. There is no reason for this furtive and invasive behaviour. Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela would like to place it on record that there is no succession ordynasty debate in the Mandela Family. Three daughters survive Nelson Mandela namely Ms. Makaziwe Mandela, Ms. Zenani Dlamini-Mandela and Ms. Zindziswa Mandela. In accordance with customary law and tradition the eldest daughter, being Ms. Makaziwe Mandela, will head the family and will make decisions with the support of her two sisters. To this end there is no misunderstanding, or debate. Mr. Mandla Mandela is respected as one of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren, the next generation of the Mandela family. Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela and the family thank Ms. Makaziwe Mandela for the leadership qualities and strength of character that she has demonstrated.

There is plenty of time – and there are abundant venues – for the media to debate relevant questions about the Mandela family’s historical role, their legacy and fate, the morality of their actions, and the meaning of the information they have chosen to disclose. Right now is not the time. The family is mourning the loss of their beloved Nelson Mandela and should be afforded the time and space due to them.

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