Winnie Mandela says Nelson let blacks down

Posted: 2010/05/03 in General News
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As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife has bitterly criticized the 92-year-old anti-apartheid icon as having “let us down,” prompting outrage in South Africa.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said she could not forgive him for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 alongside F.W. De Klerk, according to Tuesday’s Evening Standard, a British newspaper. The white president released Mandela and went on to participate in negotiations that ended apartheid. “He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically, we are still on the outside. The economy is very much ‘white.’ It has a few token blacks, but so many who gave their life in the struggle have died unrewarded,” Madikizela-Mandela was quoted as saying.

Mandela is revered by blacks and whites in South Africa, but is not above criticism. The most common are complaints that he devoted too much time during his 1994-99 presidency to seeking reconciliation with whites and too little to uplifting blacks mired in poverty by apartheid.

Yet Madikizela-Mandela’s comments contrast sharply with those she made only last month at a forum marking the 20th anniversary of his release from prison. She said then that Mandela was loved and recognized around the world for his fearlessness, and that he had emerged from prison still committed to revolution.

The contrast prompted the Times newspaper in Johannesburg to accuse her of having “two faces.” Let’s also keep in mind that this is the same woman who has alleged involvement in several human rights abuses, including the torture and murder of 14-year old Stompie Moeketsi in 1989. Oh, and a fraud conviction, but that is common for African politicians.

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