Winnie Mandela Biography
Winnie Mandela (Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela) was born on 26th September 1936 in Bizana, Eastern Cape, South Africa. She is a South African activist and politician.She is a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee.
Winnie Mandela Education Background
- She attended high school in Bizana.
- She attended the Jan Hofmeyr School and graduated in 1956 with a degree in Social Work.
- She has a Degree in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand.
Winnie Mandela -Apartheid
Winnie Mandela was regularly detained by the South African government due to her political involvement. Between August 1963 to February 1990 she emerged as a leading opponent of apartheid. She was exiled to the town of Brandfort in the Orange Free State and confined to the area, except for the times she was allowed to visit her husband at the prison on Robben Island.
In the beginning of 1969 she spent spent eighteen months in solitary confinement at Pretoria Central Prison. She organised local clinics, campaigned actively for equal rights and was promoted by the ANC as a symbol of its struggle against apartheid.
Winnie Mandela Political Career
In December 1993 and April 1997, Winnie Mandela was elected president of the ANC Women’s League, although she withdrew her candidacy for ANC Deputy President at the movement’s Mafikeng conference in December 1997.
In 2003 she resigned from all leadership positions in the ANC, including her parliamentary seat and the presidency of the ANC Women’s League.
On 21st December 2007 she was elected as the National Executive Committee. In 2009 general election she became fifth on ANC’s electoral list, behind party president and current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, former President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President of South Africa Baleka Mbete, and Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.
Winnie Mandela Controversies
On 13th April 1986 her reputation was damaged when she endorsed the practice of necklacing (burning people alive using tyres and petrol) by saying: “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.”
Winnie Mandela bodyguard,Jerry Musivuzi Richardson, accused her ordering kidnapping and murder.
On 29 December 1988, Richardson, who was coach of the Mandela United Football Club (MUFC), which acted as Mrs. Mandela’s personal security detail, abducted 14-year-old James Seipei (also known as Stompie Moeketsi) and three other youths from the home of a Methodist minister, Rev. Paul Verryn, claiming she had the youths taken to her home because she suspected the reverend was sexually abusing them. The four were beaten to get them to admit to having had sex with the minister. Seipei was accused of being an informer, and his body later found in a field with stab wounds to the throat on 6 January 1989.
In 1992, Winnie Mandela was accused of ordering the murder of Dr. Abu-Baker Asvat, a family friend who had examined Seipei at Mandela’s house, after Seipei had been abducted but before he had been killed.
Winnie Mandela Family
She was born to Columbus and Nomathamsanqa Mzaidume (Gertrude) who were both teachers. She was the fourth born out of eight children.Her mother died when Winnie was nine, resulting in the break-up of her family as all the siblings were sent to live with different relatives.
She was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years,since 1958, including 27 years during which he was imprisoned. Although they were still married at the time of his becoming president of South Africa in May 1994, the couple had separated two years earlier. Their divorce was finalised on 19 March 1996.
Winnie Mandela Children
Winnie Mandela together with Nelson Mandela have two daughters Zenani born in 1959 and Zindzi born in 1960.