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Has truth become a casualty of Winnie’s rejection of accountability?
Despite her heroism, Madikizela-Mandela’s legacy must not depend on a denial of historical realities, writes Palesa Morudu
Part of my Soul Went with Him is the title of a 1985 book by the woman born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela. As SA pays tribute to one of its remarkable daughters, who will be buried on Saturday, it is fitting to ask what part of our "soul" as a nation has gone with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. This period of national mourning has been as South African as it gets. Adherents to the politics of adulation have been in close combat with those who avow the politics of condemnation. Some praise "Winnie" because she was a fearless fighter for justice and a feminist icon; others excoriate her because she was a violent egomaniac. Hagiography meets swart gevaar. The contest has been shrill and depressing in equal measure, especially in the hyperventilation chamber that is Twitter. We do history a disservice if we omit the truth about the characters and events that shaped democratic SA. So, we must accept that Winnie Mandela was both a heroine and a villain. My very first struggle song was a...