SUNDAY CONVERSE: Letters to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
WE shouldn’t abandon discussion out of tact because there is an idol whom we fear to debase. There can’t be any compromise when it is a question of establishing what is a fact or point to be proven.
Some writers and commentators ‘are using words too loosely’, to quote Malcolm X. They refer to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as “the mother of the nation”. Which nation? Besides this appellation being an obscenity, it is also a historical distortion and falsification.
There are people who deserve that title more than Madikizela-Mandela, queens such as Queen Manthatise of the Batlokwa, for example, who fought wars against white settlers. In her notorious necklacing, there was not a single white person who was a killed in that gruesome way. Only Africans, especially from the Black Consciousness Movement and the PAC.
An Apla cadre, Xola Tyamzashe, wrote on Facebook that she lived a stone’s throw from Madikizela-Mandela’s house and that she terrorised the community. To regard a person such as Madikizela-Mandela as the “mother of the nation” is an insult to the families of Dr Abubaker Asvat of Azapo, Lolo Sono and Stompie Seipei.
Madikizela-Mandela has fallen from grace even though some in the ANC and the country don’t want to accept it. Why is she being elevated to the status of freedom fighters and theoreticians Robert Sobukwe, Anton Lembede, Zeph Mothopeng, Steve Biko and Onkgopotse Tiro who made history and influenced events and movements in South Africa?
Sobukwe was a revolutionary intellectual, ethical leader and an incorruptible freedom fighter who led the anti-pass campaign and was feared by the apartheid government.
After the March 21, 1960 anti-pass campaign, South Africa was never the same again, but we hardly hear about Sobukwe in the media the way we have heard about the errant Madikizela-Mandela over the past few days.
Lembede’s Africanism influenced many generations of South Africans in the Congress Youth League. But we never hear about him the way we have heard about Madikizela-Mandela over the past few days.
Mothopeng was instrumental in the early 1950’s anti-Bantu Education campaign and was convicted for predicting and leading the 1976 schoolchildren’s uprising, but we never hear about him the way we have heard about Madikizela-Mandela over the last few days.
Steve Biko led a movement of students that shook the apartheid government in the 1970’s and was assassinated inside a police station in 1977, but we don’t hear much about him the way we have heard about Madikizela-Mandela over the past few days.
Tiro influenced a generation of schoolchildren who were the ones who took part in the 1976 uprisings and was assassinated in Gaborone, Botswana, in 1974, but we have never heard about him the way we have heard about Madikizela-Mandela over the past few days.
Madikizela-Mandela’s involvement in the Struggle doesn’t mean if she made blunders she can’t fall from grace. Why is it that the media and the ANC think Madikizela-Mandela, who was accused of murdering and terrorising fellow Struggle members and communities, should not fall from grace?
The media and ANC are guilty of bias and selective morality.
Tebogo Brown, Witpoortjie Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has finally been laid to rest. She has done her deed, living her life to the fullest and inspiring a multitude of South Africans. The best we can do is to honour her tireless efforts in promoting social and political justice to continue exposing the injustices and call for a renewed sense of quality life for the masses.
Her life was spent in the service of the oppressed and exploited. During the struggle, she stood firm. Madikizela- Mandela fought a quiet revolution to secure our liberty.
When the history of this country is written, when final accounting is done, it is Madikizela- Mandela’s name that will be remembered long after the names of presidents have been forgotten. Her greatness lay in what everybody could do but doesn’t. It gives us a tiny thread of consolation that her memory has been preserved and immortalised.
The name Winnie Mandela has acquired the feel of permanence and awe which time confers on certain historical monuments in the consistence of purpose and the unique kind of dedication.