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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 577

Paragraph Numbers 93 to 99

Volume 2

Chapter 6

Part Part6

Subsection 10


The Mandela United Football Club

93 The Mandela United Football Club (MUFC) was the source of considerable violence and controversy between 1987 and 1989. Whilst Ms Madikizela-Mandela denied this, both the liberation movement externally and the MDM internally recognised it and stated so clearly in their statements of 16 February 1989. In the face of criticism and concerns raised by senior leaders of the liberation movement both at home and in exile, as well as the outrage of the local community, it is difficult to understand why she failed to recognise the threat that the club was posing and how damaging this was to herself. Her reluctance to disband the club is inexplicable.

94 Ms Madikizela-Mandela denied in her testimony that there was a close relationship between her and the youths who lived on or frequented her property. However, the testimony of former MUFC members, and of individuals who tried to dissuade her from this association, indicates that Madikizela-Mandela took a much more active interest than she has admitted. The MDM statement affirms this:

Not only is Mrs Mandela associated with the team, in fact the team is her own creation.

Madikizela-Mandela’s relationship with community structures

95 The evidence before the Commission clearly shows that Ms Madikizela-Mandela was not accountable to any of the internal community or political structures at the time. Repeated efforts by the Mandela Crisis Committee and other community leaders to bring her into line were either ignored or repudiated. The MDM in their statement went on to say:

We are of the view that Mrs Mandela has abused the trust and confidence which she has enjoyed over the years. She has not been a member of any of the democratic structures of the UDF [or] Cosatu and she has often acted without consulting the democratic movement.
Numerous efforts have been made to reconcile the conflict between Mrs Mandela and the community. The last of these efforts was the formation of the crisis committee of some of our most respected members. On every occasion, Mrs Mandela has chosen to disregard the sentiments of the community.

96 It is, however, evident that the internal leadership was stymied and finally reacted in the way they did because Ms Madikizela-Mandela’s intransigence had given them no other option.

97 In a statement released externally, the ANC said the following:

In the light of reports about its activities in the recent past, our organisation, complementing the initiatives of leading personalities of the Mass Democratic Movement, tried to use its influence to bring about the disbanding of the group. Unfortunately our counsel was not heeded by Comrade Winnie Mandela. The situation has been further complicated by the fact that she did not belong to any structures and therefore did not benefit from the discipline, counselling and collectivity of the Mass Democratic Movement.
Denials and allegations

98 Ms Madikizela-Mandela’s testimony before the Commission was characterised by a blanket denial of all allegations against her and of the attempts by the community leadership to defuse the situation arising from the abduction debacle. A detailed examination of some of these denials is contained in the investigation report. The picture that she sought to paint of herself was that she was right and that everybody else was wrong. She called her former associates "ludicrous" and "ridiculous" and failed to recognise that these were the same individuals who had tried to support her in the face of criticism from community leaders.

99 These denials were complemented by a series of allegations and insinuations about individuals and structures that provided information about her role and involvement in the events of this period. She refused to take responsibility for any wrongdoing. It was only at the end of her testimony, under great pressure from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, presiding over the proceedings, that she reluctantly conceded that "things had gone horribly wrong".

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