Friday, March 12, 2010



Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Friday, March 12 2010

A South African Archbishop on Friday defended the leadership record of former President Nelson Mandela against accusations of betrayal by his former wife Winnie Mandela.

The Most Reverend Njongo Ndungane said Mr Mandela set the country on a democratic path and averted bloodshed hence a vast majority of blacks regard him as an icon

Speaking in Nairobi where he was hosted by the Lions Club International to address poverty situation in Africa, Archbishop Ndugane said the impression created in the media by Mrs Mandela was false and alarming.

“I am not sure whether she was speaking for the record or her visitors misunderstood the discussions they were having. Even yesterday at the opening of parliament she sat next to Madiba and the children confessed they have full access to the father,” the retired Archbishop said.

The cleric, who heads the African Monitor - a non-governmental organisation monitoring development funding commitments by African governments - said good leadership is the focal point to success.

Former President Mandela was accused by his former wife of betraying South Africa’s black population.

Corporate Foundation

Winnie said Mr Mandela had done nothing for the poor and should not have accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with the man who jailed him, F.W. de Klerk.

The 73-year-old said her ex-husband had become a "corporate foundation" who was "wheeled out" only to raise money for the ANC party he once led.

She said Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a cretin and claimed the sacrifices of Steve Biko and others in the fight against apartheid were being overlooked.

The comments were made in an interview with Nadira Naipaul, the wife of renowned novelist V. S. Naipaul.

Mrs Mandela's star dwindled in 1991 when she was jailed for six years for the kidnap of Stompie Moeketsi — a sentence later reduced to a fine.

Stompie, 14, had been murdered three years earlier by members of Mrs Mandela’s bodyguard group, the Mandela United Football Club. She also caused outrage by endorsing the punishment of apartheid collaborators with through "necklacing" — putting burning tyres around their necks.

She was quoted as telling Mrs Naipaul: "This name Mandela is an albatross around the necks of my family.

"You all must realise that Mandela was not the only man who suffered. There were many others, hundreds who languished in prison and died.
Mandela did go to prison and he went in there as a young revolutionary but look what came out.

"Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically we are still on the outside. The economy is very much 'white'".

"I cannot forgive him for going to receive the Nobel with his jailer de Klerk. Hand in hand they went. Do you think de Klerk released him from the goodness of his heart? ‘He had to. The times dictated it, the world had changed."

The Mandelas, who divorced in 1996, were married for 38 years — although together for only five.