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FULL OBITUARY: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies aged 81

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Nelson Mandela kissing Winnie Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, whose hallowed place in the pantheon of South Africa’s liberators was eroded by scandal over corruption, kidnapping, murder and the adulterous implosion of her fabled marriage to Nelson Mandela, has died in Johannesburg. She was 81.

Her death, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, was announced by her spokesman, Victor Dlamini. He said, “She died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.”

Winnie Mandela

“She fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country,” the statement continued. “She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces.”

Madikizela-Mandela was jailed several times for her part in the fight against white-minority rule and she campaigned for the release of her husband at home and abroad.

But her marriage to Mandela began to fall apart in the years after he was released from prison in 1990. The couple divorced in 1996, nearly four decades after they were married. They had two children.

Hailed as mother of the “new” South Africa, Madikizela-Mandela’s legacy as an anti-apartheid heroine was undone when she was accused of being a ruthless ideologue prepared to sacrifice laws and lives in pursuit of revolution and redress.

Her uncompromising methods and refusal to forgive contrasted sharply with the reconciliation espoused by her husband as he worked to forge a stable, pluralistic democracy from the racial division and oppression of apartheid.

The contradictioncontributed to ending their marriage and destroyed the esteem in which she was held by many South Africans, although the firebrand activist retained the support of radical black nationalists to the end.

In her twilight years, Madikizela-Mandela had frequent run-ins with authority that further undermined her reputation as a fighter against the white-minority regime that ran Africa’s most advanced economy from 1948 to 1994.

During her husband’s 27-year incarceration, Madikizela-Mandela campaigned tirelessly for his release and for the rights of black South Africans.

She remained steadfast and unbowed throughout, emerging to punch the air triumphantly in the clenched-fist salute of black power as she walked hand-in-hand with Mandela out of Cape Town’s Victor Vester prison on 11 February 1990.

For husband and wife, it was a crowning moment that led four years later to the end of centuries of white domination when Mandela became South Africa’s first black president.

But for Madikizela-Mandela, the end of apartheid marked the start of a string of legal and political troubles that, accompanied by tales of her glamorous living, kept her in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

As evidence emerged in the dying years of apartheid of the brutality of her Soweto enforcers, the “Mandela United Football Club” (MUFC), her soubriquet switched from ”Mother of the Nation” to “Mugger”.

Blamed for the killing of the activist Stompie Seipei, who was found near her Soweto home with his throat cut, she was convicted in 1991 of kidnapping and assaulting the 14-year-old because he was suspected of being an informer. Her six-year jail term was reduced on appeal to a fine.

She and Mandela separated in 1992 and her reputation slipped further when he sacked her from his cabinet in 1995 after allegations of corruption. The couple divorced a year later, after which she adopted the surname Madikizela-Mandela.

Appearing at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) set up to unearth atrocities committed by both sides in the anti-apartheid struggle, Madikizela-Mandela refused to show remorse for abductions and murders carried out in her name.

Only after pleading from the TRC chairman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, did she admit grudgingly that “things went horribly wrong”.

In its final report, the TRC ruled that Madikizela-Mandela was “politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights committed by the MUFC”.

Four years later, she was back in court, facing fraud and theft charges in relation to an elaborate bank loan scheme.

“Somewhere it seems that something went wrong,” magistrate Peet Johnson said as he sentenced her to five years in jail, later overturned on appeal. “You should set the example for all of us.”

Born on 26 September 1936, in Bizana, Eastern Cape province, Madikizela-Mandela became politicised at an early age in her job as a hospital social worker.

“I started to realise the abject poverty under which most people were forced to live, the appalling conditions created by the inequalities of the system,” she once said.

Strikingly attractive and with a steely air – her given name, Nomzamo, means ”one who strives” – the 22-year-old Winnie caught the eye of Mandela at a Soweto bus-stop in 1957, starting a whirlwind romance that led to their marriage a year later.

But with husband and wife pouring their energies into the fight against apartheid, the relationship struggled before being torn apart after six years when Mandela was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

Madikizela-Mandela later described her marriage as a sham and the birth of their two daughters, Zindzi and Zenani, as “quite coincidental” to her one true love – the struggle against white rule. “I was married to the ANC. It was the best marriage I ever had,” she often said.

Graca Machel, who stepped into her shoes as South Africa’s first lady when she married Mandela in 1998, paid tribute to her predecessor in the years after her union. “It’s unfortunate that in our lives we don’t interact very easily but I want to state very clearly that Winnie is my hero. Winnie is someone I respect highly,” Machel once said.

As the years passed and Madikizela-Mandela’s public standing plummeted, her relationship with the party she loved soured. She bore the air of a troublemaker, arriving late at rallies and haranguing comrades, including Thabo Mbeki, Mandela’s successor as president.

In 2001, a television camera caught Mbeki brushing Madikizela-Mandela away and knocking off her hat after she arrived an hour late for a rally to commemorate a 1976 anti-apartheid uprising by Soweto schoolchildren and students.

Nelson and Winnie Mandela at the Johannesburg airport. May, 1990

Years later, she clashed with the next president, Jacob Zuma, becoming a political patron of the renegade ANC youth leader Julius Malema, who quit the century-old movement to found his own ultra-leftist political party.

Confirming her support for Malema and backing his calls for seizure of white-owned farms and banks, Madikizela-Mandela revealed her contempt in 2010 for the deal her ex-husband struck with South Africa’s white minority nearly two decades before.

In a London newspaper interview, she attacked Mandela, who died in December 2013, saying he had gone soft in prison and sold out the black cause. “Mandela did go to prison and he went in there as a burning young revolutionary. But look what came out,” she said. “Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks.”

She also dismissed Tutu, post-apartheid South Africa’s moral fulcrum, as a “cretin” and rubbished his attempts at national healing as a “religious circus”.

“I told him a few home truths. I told him that he and his other like-minded cretins were only sitting here because of our struggle and me – because of the things I and people like me had done to get freedom,” she said.

“I am not sorry. I will never be sorry,” she concluded. “I would do everything I did again if I had to. Everything.”

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VIDEOS: Pastor Takes Off Female Church Member’s Underpants, Orders Pregnancy To Enter

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As religious leaders in Uganda intensify their fight against false prophets and pastors in Uganda, pictures are circulating on social media of a pastor from one of the sub-Saharan countries taking off a lady’s underwear in front of his congregation in church.

It is alleged that the Pastor took off the lady’s underwear by himself inside the church and ordered her to open her legs wide for the spirit of pregnancy to penetrate into her so that she can give birth.

It should be noted that false religious leaders are in the news these days for all the wrong reasons. Recently, a South African preacher made his congregation eat grass to ‘be closer to God’ before stamping on them.

Under the instruction of Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries dozens of followers dropped to the floor to eat the grass at his ministry in Garankuwa, north of Pretoria after being told it will ‘bring them closer to God.’
The same preacher made his congregation drink petrol after assuring them that the petrol had been turned into pineapple juice.

He first poured the liquid into a bucket before dropping a match into it and setting it alight to prove that it really was petrol.
We know alot is happening in the churches that are led by false prophets who claim to be men of god. We warn Ugandans especially ladies not to be so desparate for miracles…

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Meet 24-year-old Conco, Wife Number 4 To 72-year-old South African Former President Zuma

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‘SO what?” That was the response of former president Jacob Zuma’s family amid the barrage of criticism that he had fathered a child with 24-year-old Nonkanyiso Conco and paid lobola (dowry) for her in preparation for marriage.

The cheerful young Zulu maiden, who is now 24 years old, stands confidently in the shot while the cameraman and interviewee look the other way.

If Zuma does go on to tie the knot with Conco, she will be his seventh bride, and the youngest, with a 52-year gap between them.

Conco, who reportedly checked into a Durban hospital as “Mrs Zuma”, gave birth to the youngest Zuma son on April 12 – Zuma’s birthday.

Inkosi Bhekumuzi Zuma, of the KwaNxamalala clan in Nkandla, leapt to Zuma’s defence, saying there was nothing untoward in him taking another wife.

“He showed that he is an honest man by paying lobola for her. How many men out there use young girls and dump them like rubbish when they are fed up?” asked Bhekumuzi.

Explaining the lobola process, Bhekumuzi said, “This is a first step for a couple who are on the road to marriage. There are steps that follow lobola between the families of the couples. Don’t be misled; this is part of our culture.”

Zuma’s brother, Khanya, 73, who’s only claim to fame is being the younger brother of the former state president, will also become a polygamist soon.

He lashed out at those who were criticising his brother, saying: “I’m also taking a second wife soon. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, because we are not hiding these women; we are making them feel proud by marrying them,” he chuckled. Both were unconcerned about the 50-year age difference between Zuma, 76, and Conco, 24.

Despite his resignation, Zuma still enjoys massive support from his home province, which was evident during his court appearance earlier this month on charges of fraud, money laundering and corruption. Scores of Zuma sympathisers descended on the Durban High Court precinct to show their support.

“The Nxamalalas are amasoka (casanovas). We love and take good care of women and we don’t hide that fact like other men do,” said Khanya.

He said paying lobola was a longstanding Nguni tradition, which the Zulus adhered to.

Conco, a former presenter at Pietermaritzburg-based uMgungundlovu FM, hails from Thornville.
She attended Haythorne High School in Woodlands, Pietermaritzburg, and did a business course at Varsity College in the same town, said her former colleagues at the station.Her close friends said she had bragged of being in a romantic relationship with Zuma, who she referred to as uBaba (father), since 2013.

It is believed that she now resides at the Zimbali estate.

Conco’s Instagram account has seen her amass more than 5 000 followers and she has received hundreds of likes for her pictures. In one, she showed off what was believed to be the engagement ring given to her by Zuma.

The former president is also married to Bongi Ngema, Gertrude Sizakele Khumalo and Tobeka Madiba, while reportedly having separated from Nompumelelo Ntuli, who allegedly tried to poison him. Ntuli no longer lives in Nkandla.

Zuma was divorced from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 1998. She is currently a minister in the presidency and has four children by him.

His Mozambican wife, Kate Mantsho, committed suicide in 2000.

Villagers in Nkandla were stunned at the news, with many saying that they did not know that Zuma, who they fondly referred as Mkhulu (grandfather), had paid lobola for another woman.

Hlobisile Hadebe, 52, said: “I did not know about that. It’s the first time I’m hearing about it, but according to our culture, there is nothing wrong with that. I was also born in a polygamist family.”

Zuma has made no comment on the matter. Saturday was also Zuma’s sixth wedding anniversary with wife Bongi Ngema.

Meanwhile, a welcome back event for Zuma was postponed to May 19.

 

Source: IOL South Africa

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President Museveni Warns UN Security Council On Somalia

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President Yoweri Museveni has called upon the United Nations Security Council not to repeat previous mistakes made in Somalia.

The President made the remarks today at the Summit of Heads of State and Government of Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) held at Speke resort Munyonyo Hotel in Kampala.

“If we do things right, chances are Somalia will be much better anytime soon. Let us avoid new mistakes,” he said.

President Museveni convened the Summit in the wake of the challenges AMISOM was facing, characterized by a mismatch between the mission ideals and resources.

It also followed the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 2372 of 30th August 2017 whose main thrust was the phased reduction and drawdown of AMISOM troops by 2020.

President Museveni mandated the African Union Commissioner, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat to communicate to the UN Security Council the decisions and recommendations of the Kampala Summit.

Troop Contributing Countries to the African Union-led Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

According to the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), the timeframes and troops levels under the UN Security Council Resolution 2372 are not realistic and undermine the capacity of AMISOM to deliver its mandate and would lead to a reversal of the gains made by AMISOM.

The Somalia National Army (SNA) and AMISOM have recovered more than 80% of Somalia but despite the notable achievement, the situation remains fragile with Al Shabab and other terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa country remaining a threat to Somalia, the region and to international peace and security.

The TCCs, therefore, urged the UN Security Council to reconsider resolution 2372 on draw down of the mission, restore AMISOM to previous troop levels and stay any further reduction of AMISOM troops in order to allow recovery of territory still under control of Al Shabab and other terrorist groups. The TCCs also called for ample time for integration, reorganization, training and mentoring of the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF).

The TCCs also requested the partners to support the enhancement of the capacity and training of the Somali National Security Forces (SNSF) to maintain peace and security in Somalia and the integration exercise of the Federal Member States’ Forces into the Somali National Army (SNA) and to enhance their support to the Federal Government of Somalia so as to stabilize the political situation in the country and also the strengthening of administration structures and systems in areas liberated from Al Shabab.

The AU’s Commissioner, Mr. Faki Mahamat said that the continued presence of AMISOM in Somalia is crucial and a welcome commitment as well as an offer from partners to support AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia in their stabilization efforts.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of the Federal Republic of Somalia thanked President Museveni for taking the decision to deploy troops to Somalia ten years ago and his commitment to achieve peace in Somalia.

“I believe AMISOM is succeeding but we have a long way to go. We need to collaborate and continue funding to defeat Al Shabab,” he said.

The First Vice-President of Somalia, Gaston Sindimwo; Minister of National Defence of Djibouti, Ali Hassan Bahdon; Kenya Cabinet Secretary of Defence, Ambassador Raychelle Omamo and the Ethiopian Ambassador to Uganda, Tolesa Shagi Moti, attended the Summit.

Representatives of international partners from Algeria, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, France, Sweden, Turkey, Britain, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union were at the Summit.

SOURCE: PPU

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