'Winnie Mandela played an integral part in laying a foundation for the new SA'

Tributes continue to pour in for struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela who died on Monday afternoon.

But alongside the condolences there has also been criticism of the anti-apartheid activist who was linked to the death of of 14-year-old activist Stompie Moeketsi Seipei in 1989.

Sello Hatang of the Nelson Mandela Foundation has condemned the social media criticism of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.

Read: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died

Either you are a sell-out or you are good to the struggle. We need not to look into people's past with this judgmental attitude, but try to be more understanding of the context which people found themselves in.

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

Mam'Winnie lost her innocence because of a struggle she actually didn't choose , the struggle entrusted upon her by the husband she chose and the people she identified with - the vulnerable people who were discriminated because of apartheid.

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

Hatang says South Africans owe her a debt of gratitude.

At a time like this, even those who do not want to acknowledge it, their gratitude should come through that at least she did her best. through torture, to deliver the freedom that we have today.

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation

Former prison warder at Robben Island , Christo Brand has spoken of the times Mrs Madikizela-Mandela would visit her husband Nelson Mandela in prison, and remembered how she once smuggled her grandchildren in to meet their grandfather.

He says Winnie always showed great strength of character.

I feel very sorry because I know Winnie was the person who stood behind Nelson Mandela for 27 years in prison. I have high respect for her, even the times when we had arguments, when I chased her from prison, she still came back to me to tell me what a wonderful man I was in her life.

Christo Brand, former prison warder at Robben Island

Winnie was part of the struggle in laying the foundation for the new South Africa.

Christo Brand, former prison warder at Robben Island

To hear the full interviews about Winnie Mandela, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Winnie Mandela played an integral part in laying a foundation for the new SA'


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