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Winnie Mandela, l'âme noire de l'Afrique du…

Winnie Mandela, l'âme noire de l'Afrique du Sud

by Sabine Stephen & Cessou Smith

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A highly competent factual narrative of the career of Mrs. Mandela, which fails to get under the skin of the subject.

I was convinced tat it was not just the perception of Mandela that changed in the late 80's; it was her character that changed - from dogged generous fighter to self-important messiah or (at least) general. Her judgement of people had always been a bit suspect, but this had not hitherto much mattered. So the Mother of the Nation became an amost certain accomplice to a sordid murder.

It is good to be rminded that Winnie was - inter alia - held in solitary confinement, brtally interrogated, had live rounds fired into her house,and wsas forced to send her young children to boarding school in another country.another country. All this time she was struggling to make a living in menial jobs in Soweto - prevented from utilising her professional qualifications. She did not get the support - moral or financial - that she expected from the ANC, whose leadership, I strongly suspect, regarded her as Nelson's bit-on-the-side.

Perhaps not so surprising that the belated recognition she received rather went to her head. The authors do not mention - and perhaps it is a dangerous speculation - but at around the time she began to be hailed by domestic crowds and foriegn dignitories, she must have gone through the menopause; an uncertain element in the general mix.

I ended this book with rather more sympathy for Mandela than when I had started it. But it cannot be said to be unjust that she should go down in history largely as the murderer of young Stompie.
1 vote GeorgeBowling | Feb 7, 2010 |
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