Dumisa Ntsebeza accuses Winnie documentary maker of having 'no regard for our people'

Dumisa Ntsebeza.
Dumisa Ntsebeza.
Felix Dlangamandla, Foto24

Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza has lashed out at the director of the documentary on late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela saying that she had an agenda.

Ntsebeza, who was a commissioner during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said it was clear that filmmaker Pascale Lamche had an agenda in telling the story.

"I cannot believe the arrogance of the producer. In the clip, she says: 'I did not give Sydney Mufamadi a chance to defend himself'. We as lawyers and journalists know that you have to give someone a right of reply, especially when you make serious accusations about [them]," said Ntsebeza.

READ: Director of Winnie documentary believes her film has sparked important discussions

During an interview with News24, Ntsebeza said he was uncomfortable with the conduct of the filmmaker.

"She wants to project a certain point. She relies on information from Stratcom and she does not make contact with the people to confirm the information.

"We knew in the TRC that innocent people were necklaced."

Ntsebeza accused Lamche of having "no regard for our people".

'She was not a saint'

"My other problem is that she said South Africans must dig deep. She undermines South African journalists. We didn't need her to tell us the story of mama (Winnie Madikizela-Mandela). Mama was human, like all of us. She was not a saint."

Ntsebeza said, instead of the country mourning the death of Madikizela-Mandela, it was focusing on the documentary.

"If you do a documentary and you do not give a person a right of reply, then it is mischievous and you are tarnishing the reputation of others."

READ: Mufamadi distances himself from plot to discredit Madikizela-Mandela

Ntsebeza said he would have expected the documentary to be fair.

"She should have called Sydney Mufamadi to confirm or deny what was said about him."

Lamche, who was named best director for the documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, attended a press conference by former safety and security minister Sydney Mufamadi on Monday morning, where he sought to distance himself from what was viewed as a plot to discredit the late struggle icon, as depicted in Lamche's film.

During the press conference, Lamche and Mufamadi became locked in a debate about her film and the allegations levelled against the former minister.

'Why has it become a press issue now?'

Mufamadi questioned Lamche's ethics in the making of the documentary, asking her if "the people who give these awards regard issues of ethics being of any materiality".

"The point is, is this film a credible film? Is it an important story to bring out in SA today? Is it something that people need to answer for? Is it something that initiates discussion into a very critical period of your history from 1984 to 1997, or not? And I believe it is", Lamche responded.

"After watching the film, the viewers' job was not to discredit the film or discredit me, but to investigate for their own satisfaction, whether the film that gave viewers all kinds of insights into all sorts of ways in which Winnie Mandela was demonised, criminalised, etc, deserved to be aired and whether it deserves a discussion in South Africa today."

Lamche questioned why the statements and allegations in the film had only become an issue now, following Madikizela-Mandela's death, and not when the film was first screened in South Africa, almost a year ago.

"Why has it become a press issue now? This is the thing, there are lots of things going backwards and forward," she said.

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