Journalist Thandeka Gqubule plans to go to court to declassify Stratcom documents to clear her name

Thandeka Gqubule speaking to News24 on the sidelines of former Minister for Safety and Security, Sydney Mufamadi's press conference on the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela documentary.
Thandeka Gqubule speaking to News24 on the sidelines of former Minister for Safety and Security, Sydney Mufamadi's press conference on the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela documentary.
Sharlene Rood (screen grab)

Thandeka Gqubule, one of the journalists who Winnie Madikizela-Mandela accused of working for Stratcom, said she planned to apply to the High Court for the declassification of documents that would clear her name.

Madikizela-Mandela alluded in a video clip, published on HuffPost SA's website, that Gqubule was an agent of the apartheid government's security branch. The video clip has since been removed.

Gqubule attended a media briefing on Monday, hosted by former Minister of Safety and Security Sydney Mufamadi, who wanted to set the record straight after allegations emerged that he had reopened investigations into Madikizela-Mandela for her alleged role in the murder of Stompie Seipei.

READ: 'I was an activist, never a spy' - journalist on Madikizela-Mandela claims

"Now I stand accused of being a Stratcom spy. And for the sake of history, let me say I will never reveal the sources for that story, but not a single one of them was a police source," Gqubule said at the briefing.

She challenged Mufamadi to reveal whether he was privy to any evidence which proved that she worked for the apartheid government.

"I don't seek to make my problem yours and I would be going to the High Court to apply for the declassification of files involving myself," she said.

"But did you at any stage see or hear that I or my colleagues, who worked at the Weekly Mail, were agents of Stratcom? Or did you just hear that we did an honest story and did journalism, investigative journalism and we were indeed ahead of the police investigation on this matter and we punched above our weight?"

Gqubule said she was not the sort of person to hide.

"I am going to the High Court to apply to have the intelligence services in this country take those files, give them to the judge and then make them publicly available, so that we can [put] this whole nonsense to bed, once and for all," she said.

"I'm not that kind of person. I was not ever going to hide. And I felt [I should] come out and actually confront the issues [and] ask the intelligence services to set the record straight. I was never a spy. I was never going to be a spy."

"I would rather have died than have been a spy."

Gqubule said the implications of the untested allegations were dangerous to society and the individuals involved.

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