Today, I received the news that Winnie Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 81. She married Mandela four years before he was convicted of political crimes and sentenced to life in prison. Needless to say, Mandela was eventually released, though it wasn’t for another 27 years.
While Mandela was in jail, Winnie wasn’t making the best name for herself. Under her command, the Mandela United Football Club carried out a host of violent crimes, from kidnapping to murder. Her chief-bodyguard in the 80s, Jerry Richardson, told South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission the atrocities he committed under her orders. Most brutal of them all was the torture and killing of 14-year-old James Seipei. James, along with three other youths, was kidnapped and beaten in an elaborate plan to destroy the reputation of a white minister by accusing him of sexually abusing boys. They beat the boys until they agreed to Winnie’s plan, however, James was given the harshest beating, as it was thought that he was a police informant.
And Winnie Mandela wasn’t some passive observer. She allegedly didn’t kill anyone, but Richardson recalls her using her hands to join in on the beating. They beat James for days, before they finally killed him with gardening shears.
Winnie Mandela was convicted in 1991 of kidnapping and assaulting James Seipei, and was fined a meager $3,200.
I’m sure some of you are wondering why I’m even bringing any of this up. So what if she endorsed necklacing (forcing a rubber tire filled with petrol around a victim’s chest and arms, and setting it on fire), why is it relevant now?
It’s relevant because of how politicians attempt to the whitewash unpleasant history of Mandela’s past.
Today I mourn the loss of my dear friend & one of the greatest leaders & activists in the world: Winnie Mandela. I worked w/ her on the release of N. Mandela & to end apartheid in South Africa. We should all pay tribute to Winnie’s persistence in the face of injustice & racism.
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) 2 April 2018
It’s worked with other political figures, so why wouldn’t it work for her? Today’s generation thinks Mother Teresa was a humanitarian and Gandhi wasn’t a basket case. Winnie Mandela should be remembered for the murderess gang leader she was. What an inspiration she is for the ANC, who are going back to their true roots. I wonder if she helped write that ‘Kill the Boer’ song that they sing so proudly at their rallies.
You won’t find me shedding a tear over her. She was evil personified.