Holomisa hits out at Win­nie hyp­ocrites

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SHAUN SMILLIE and BALD­WIN NDABA

TO­DAY South Africans say a fi­nal farewell to Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela but even at her fu­neral the mother of the na­tion re­mains a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure.

Over the last two weeks, Madik­izela-Man­dela has been var­i­ously de­picted as a Strug­gle heroine, a mur­derer, or a woman snubbed by the very or­gan­i­sa­tion she was fight­ing for.

For some of the mourn­ers who will be gath­ered at her grave­side, this is a sore point that stretches back over a quar­ter of cen­tury.

“They were hyp­ocrites of the high­est or­der,” said the leader of the United Demo­cratic Move­ment, Bantu Holomisa. He was re­fer­ring to mem­bers of the anti-apartheid Mass Demo­cratic Move­ment and the ANC, who he felt aban­doned Madik­izela-Man­dela in her time of need.

Th­ese hyp­ocrites, he said, were now prais­ing her as a heroine and at­tend­ing her fu­neral.

The snub­bing be­gan, Holomisa said, with the kid­nap­ping and killing of teen ac­tivist Stom­pie Seipei in the 1980s. Madik­izela-Man­dela re­ceived a six-year jail sen­tence, which she suc­cess­fully ap­pealed and it was re­duced to a R15 000 fine and sus­pended sen­tence.

Holomisa said no­body was will­ing to pay her fine. He paid the fine. Later, when she served in the first ANC gov­ern­ment she was axed from the cab­i­net for hav­ing gone to Ghana with­out au­tho­ri­sa­tion. But, ac­cord­ing to Holomisa, the real rea­son was that she was seen as pop­ulist and the lead­er­ship in her hus­band’s ad­min­is­tra­tion saw her views as dan­ger­ous and sought a rea­son to axe her. He de­clined to name th­ese peo­ple.

“She led from the front. She was al­ways there among the peo­ple,” said Holomisa. “With what has come up about StratCom, (the apartheid gov­ern­ment’s me­dia cam­paign) I feel I made the right de­ci­sion.”

Madik­izela-Man­dela’s death on April 2 has also un­earthed apartheid skele­tons. Claims emerged this week that she was the vic­tim of a Strat- Com smear cam­paign to dis­credit her. In­for­ma­tion also resur­faced of 40 jour­nal­ists who al­legedly were work­ing or sup­plied in­for­ma­tion to the apartheid state. The EFF have con­tro­ver­sially threat­ened to re­lease the names of th­ese jour­nal­ists.

An­other politi­cian who be­lieves Madik­izela- Man­dela was hard done by, by the ANC, is EFF leader Julius Malema. Ear­lier this week, dur­ing a me­mo­rial ser­vice for Madik­izela-Man­dela in Brand­fort, in the Free State, he ac­cused the ANC of us­ing her as a wheel­bar­row “that you would leave and come back from ex­ile and use her and push her”.

To­day, Malema is due to pay a spe­cial trib­ute to Madik­izela-Man­dela, in ac­cor­dance with her burial wishes.

Her state fu­neral will be the big­gest since that of her ex-hus­band four-and-half years ago. There is to be a 21-gun salute and a host of dig­ni­taries have been billed to ad­dress the thou­sands of mourn­ers ex­pected at Or­lando Sta­dium.

Crowds are to form a guard of hon­our along the roads lead­ing from the sta­dium to the ceme­tery.

Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa is to de­liver the eu­logy be­fore her body is taken to Cal­gro M3 Four­ways Me­mo­rial Park Ceme­tery, where she will be buried along­side her fam­ily mem­bers.

Only dig­ni­taries are to be al­lowed in the ceme­tery, other mourn­ers will watch the burial on big screens.

Malema’s re­la­tion­ship with Madik­izela-Man­dela dates back to when he was the leader of Cosas.

A spe­cial trib­ute to the Strug­gle icon is also to be de­liv­ered by her daugh­ters Ze­nani and Zindzi as well as her grand- and great-grand­chil­dren.

Pres­i­dent of Congo De­nis Sas­sou Nguesso – one of the three heads of state who will be at fu­neral – will also de­liver a trib­ute mes­sage.

Namib­ian Pres­i­dent Hage Gein­gob and Prime Min­is­ter of Mada­gas­car Olivier Ma­hafaly Solo­nan­drasana are among the lead­ers and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives from African coun­tries who will at­tend the fu­neral.

‘She was seen as a pop­ulist and the

lead­er­ship saw her views as dan­ger­ous.’

PIC­TURE: REUTERS/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Mourn­ers carry the cof­fin of Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela in Or­lando West, Soweto, yes­ter­day. A spe­cial trib­ute to the Strug­gle icon is to be de­liv­ered by her daugh­ters Ze­nani and Zindzi at her fu­neral to­day.

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