Thandeka Gqubule: 'I made a decision not to name my sources'

The airing of the late stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela documentary 'Winnie' directed by Pascale Lamche, has raised questions about who is responsible for writing and remembering history and how those stories are told.

Senior researcher at eNCA Angelo Fick and journalist, Thandeka Gqubule weighed in on the topic on The Eusebius McKaiser Show.

Madikizela-Mandela named Gqubele as part of the alleged group of journalists working with the apartheid regime to discredit her, in a video clip published on HuffPost SA.

Read: It is important that the public that I serve trusts in my work -Thandeka Gqubule

Read: 'I had no idea Winnie had been selected as a possible deputy president of SA'

Fick said historical accounts, whether told by people who lived through events or written in history textbooks, are influenced by those writing it and often how they remember it.

We don't come at it blank, we come at it with a certain understanding of the present, where we have an approach that says I want to know about a certain time in the past for these particular reasons and we find specific people more convincing than others - and not necessarily only on the basis of the substance of what they say, but often on how we rate them politically.

Angelo Fick, Senior Researcher at eNCA

Women's versions of history are often secondary, we take the versions of men. Public versions of history are often more valued than private versions. History of the public is more interesting to people than histories of privacy.

Angelo Fick, Senior Researcher at ENCA

Gqubule said she is trying to be detached about what has happened around the 'Winnie' documentary as there are a lot of hot heads out there.

If I can keep my head when everyone else around me is losing theirs, I think that I could find a way forward. I have a responsibility as a journalist to be factual, to be balanced and to be as truthful as possible.

Thandeka Gqubule, Journalist

To honour history in a meaningful way, to say this is what happened, this is what I reported, this is my interpretation of what I reported and leave it to society to do the rest.

Thandeka Gqubule, Journalist

She said journalists have an obligation to protect their sources and to preserve their privacy and talks about her investigation into Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Stompie Seipei murder.

I made a decision not to name anybody as a source of mine during the story and during the investigation. And also just to name the broad communities of actors from which those sources were drawn. I have said that it was the churches and I have said it was the communities around Soweto and it was the activist communities in 1988.

Thandeka Gqubule, Journalist

I have expressly said that none of my sources were official police sources. In fact, the police ran into the newsroom after our return from Soweto upon hearing that we have discovered something, to ask Anton what he had discovered.

Thandeka Gqubule, Journalist

She added that they did not speak to police would not seek them out as sources because they distrusted the police.

First of all Ms Mandela didn't make the claim that I am a Stratcom person or spy, she did not make that claim, that claim is made in a press release issued by the EFF. Personally, I Just feel bullied sometimes by people who were 7-years-old in 1988. And there is a lot of cyberbullying and because I'm an adult I need to take a step back and ask why this is happening.

Thandeka Gqubule, Journalist

Listen to the discussion below:


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