Trevor Manuel. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Trevor Manuel. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
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Former finance minister Trevor Manuel ripped into ANC secretary-general and former Free State Premier Ace Magashule on the restoration of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s house in Brandfort.

She was banished to Brandfort in the Free State from 1977 to 1986.

"This is the same [former] premier who protests the approvals for the Estina dairy [project] totalling some R220m in two weeks. This is the same former premier whose daughter is a beneficiary of a R130m housing contract‚ but now informs us that this minuscule project to restore the house to which our mother was banished has taken 11 years and can’t get done‚" Manuel said.

"He says, ‘Well, everybody knows the money hasn’t disappeared.’ Where is the money that was budgeted for? And even the numbers he talks about for the restoration of that very basic house‚ for the R3m he talks about‚ what does he want to do? Does he want to gold plate the window frames? Does he want to put in a jacuzzi? Does he also want to air condition the house? No‚ that must remain that place of pain."

Manuel spoke on Thursday night at a memorial service at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Madikizela-Mandela died on Monday at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness that had her 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‚ the family said in an official statement.

Manuel said Madikizela-Mandela "kept the flag flying" at the coalface of the struggle against apartheid when others were imprisoned on Robben Island.

"It was Winnie in her deep resolve to be and live and fight and lead. It is that self-discovery that made her as strong and as uncompromising as we all knew her to be‚" Manuel said.

"Not even those of us who tasted the hors d’oeuvres of solitary confinement have the right to judge."

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