ANC delays response to Winnie furore

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla

The ANC says it will respond to the allegations that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was involved in criminal actives when it is opportune to do so.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday at Luthuli House, Johannesburg, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said it was not the right time to respond to the claims.

"It is not appropriate to participate in controversial debates regarding her life and her legacy just 48 hours after she was laid to rest," Duarte said.

"We know that in some instances this debate is intended to distract from the significant role she played in the liberation Struggle and in the ANC."

She said the governing party noted with sadness the flurry of mass media platforms relating to controversies around the legacy of Madikizela-Mandela.

Duarte also defended the 11 ANC Women's League (ANCWL) members who resigned from the organisation amid allegations that Madikizela-Mandela was involved in criminal activities when she was the league's president.

EFF leader Julius Malema dropped the resignation bombshell during Madikizela-Mandela's funeral service at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

He said the women resigned as ANCWL national executive committee (NEC) members because they said they can't be led by a criminal.

Those who resigned included Nomvula Mokonyane, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

"At the time that the NEC members from the ANCWL resigned there was no [court] judgment against comrade Winnie," she said.

ANC's head of elections Fikile Mbalula said the women approached the ANC and the party advised them that it was not advisable now to speak about the allegations while the country was still mourning.

"It does not mean that the ANC will not respond on those issues," Mbalula said.