Last week the pioneering journalist, former activist and former detainee in apartheid cells, Thandeka Gqubule, was forced to respond to allegations by the Economic Freedom Fighters that she had, as alleged by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in a posthumously released video, done the work of the apartheid communications network Stratcom.

She was not the only one: the venerable Anton Harber, co-founder of the anti-apartheid newspaper The Weekly Mail (later the Mail & Guardian) was also accused. Not a single shred of evidence was proffered.

None exists, of course.

It is worth noting that Truth and Reconciliation Commission records show that Vic McPherson, the apartheid spy and alleged source of these rumours, never put their names on any list as informers. Ironically, Stratcom was exposed by the Weekly Mail.

But who cares about the truth when you are trying to exploit Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s death for votes?

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