We were praising the wrong Mandela – SA’s anger over Winnie doccie

Winnie and Nelson Mandela
Winnie and Nelson Mandela

Social media erupted in outrage and disbelief on Wednesday night after the screening of a tell-all documentary about the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The documentary, simply titled Winnie, aired on eNCA hours after the official state memorial for Madikizela-Mandela was held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto and it exposed how the mother of the nation was “betrayed” by the ANC, especially by her husband, former president, Nelson Mandela.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was also called out for “letting the mother of the nation down” when he had requested her to apologise at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in 1997.

In the documentary, Madikizela-Mandela suggests that the subpoena for her to testify at the TRC was linked to her nomination for the position of deputy president of the ANC.

“It was an unhealthy coincidence in my mind that this must happen a few days before the national conference. I was the only one in the ANC who was taken to the TRC by her own government. I was seething with rage. He [Tutu] was acting there for the public, acting for Stratcom” she says.

“To this day, I ask God to forgive me, for not forgiving Tutu. I wasn’t going to say sorry as if I had been responsible for apartheid,” she adds.

The truth about the Stompie Seipei murder and the extent of the apartheid regime’s smear campaign to discredit and isolate Madikizela-Mandela is also revealed.

Since her passing, the nation has seen fiery debate around Madikizela-Mandela’s character, with the “saint or sinner” dichotomy dominating the narrative.

The documentary, which premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival last year, seems to have cleared up the smokescreen with all its revelations, the biggest one being the confession that the apartheid government worked actively to drag Madikizela-Mandela’s name through the mud.

Stratcom head Vic McPherson admits that he had 40 journalists planted to write defamatory articles on Madikizela-Mandela.

“I already had 40 journalists working directly or indirectly for me. So through them I could have specific reports placed in the newspapers, and it would be front page,” McPherson says.

This would lead to internal divisions in the ANC and allies such as the IFP distancing themselves from Madikizela-Mandela, isolating her even more from the masses.

It is also shown that the man who killed Stompie, Jerry Richardson, was a police informer working in Madikizela-Mandela’s inner circle.

Many also asked why former president Nelson Mandela was willing to forgive the apartheid government, but not his wife.

If you missed the documentary last night, here’s when you can catch repeats:

eNCA: Friday at 9pm, Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 8pm

e.tv: Sunday at 4pm

Openview e-extra: Sunday at 9pm

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