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Mthethwa warns against negative comments on Mama Winnie's past

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Arts and culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called on people to remember Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's contribution towards liberating South Africa instead of dwelling on the negative.

Mthethwa is among those who visited Madikizela-Mandela's home in Orlando West in Soweto to pay their respects on Tuesday following the struggle stalwart's death at the Netcare Milpark Hospital on Monday due to illness.

As condolences poured in for the widely respected Madikizela-Mandela, some people took to social media to rehash her alleged role in the abduction and killing of activist Stompie Seipei in 1989 and calling for her legacy not to be celebrated.

Seipei was allegedly abducted and killed by members of Madikizela-Mandela's bodyguards, the Mandela United Football Club.

Mthethwa said negative comments about Madikizela-Mandela's past should never tarnish the memory of a great leader.

"What trumps everything with Mama Winnie is that she was rooted among her people. This country was liberated through her efforts," he said.

Mthethwa described Madikizela-Mandela as "a doyen of the country's national democratic revolution".

"We will miss her. There will be no other Mam Winnie," he said.

Cars could be seen driving in and out of the yard with more political figures such as EFF leader Julius Malema expected to visit the family later in the day.

Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape, Madikizela-Mandela was married to South Africa's first black democratically elected president Nelson Mandela for  37 years before they divorced in 1996.

Madikizela-Mandela was a social worker by profession and a fierce political activist in her own right which resulted her being constantly harassed by apartheid authorities and imprisoned. 


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