We love you Winnie

winnie2Winnie has won her appeal against a five year jail sentence for theft but still faces fraud charges Winnie escapes serving jail term

ANC spokesperson comment on the case:

“Winnie is a tried and tested leader of the ANC who has gone through hard experiences and sacrifices in the process of the liberation struggle,” the ANC said in a statement. “Her experiences and leadership (are) valued by everyone across the racial spectrum in our country and throughout the world.”

I have always thought Winnie was set up because she was just too hot to handle, by pro-apartheid groups, SA secret service or even a fraction of the post apartheid ANC because she would be critical of their concilitory stance. Mandela was just released from prison then elected as President of the new South Africa. With Winnie at his side it would have been more difficult for Mandela and his advisors to adopt a position that favoured the interests of white South African and the West. Apartheid South Africa was was a violent racist dehumanizing place and to expect people to live in that environment and to struggle against the inhumanity and equality without getting dirty is ridiculous. Whatever Winnie did, she did it in the context of Apartheid and yes she like everyone else out there has made mistakes but these cannot take away from her courage. She was inflexible and forcefull in the struggle against apartheid and to free her husband and other ANC leaders and despite arrests, banning, being jailed and generally harrassed she never once faltered in her determination.

As far as I am concerned Winnie Mandela is a heroine to the South African people and to ALL African people. For Black women everywhere she is a symbol of their struggle against oppression, sexism and racism. Winnie has never backed down, never compromised herself with the authorities in South Africa yesterday or today and she has never lost contact with her people on the ground: the poor and the dispossessed.