Author denies 'speaking ill' of Winnie Mandela in new book about her life

A new book about the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is set to hit the shelves penned by veteran correspondent Fred Bridgland.

Bridgland acted as the South African correspondent for various UK newspapers in the late 1980s.

His book, titled Truth, Lies and Alibis details the days of the Mandela United Football Club who were implicated in kidnappings, torture and murder.

The book also looks at the death of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, Winnie Mandela's trial and conviction, as well as the politics at play at the time.

Bridgland says he wrote the book to tell the stories of the many seemingly ‘unimportant’ people who were affected by the Mandela United Football Club.

In 1991, Madikizela was sentenced to six years in prison for her part in the kidnapping of the youths and for assault.

However, her sentence was reduced on appeal to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence.

During the TRC hearings, a former member of the Mandela United Football Club, Katiza Cebekhulu claimed he witnessed Madikizela stabbing Stompie herself.

Bridgland says he believes Cebekhulu, who was apparently kidnapped by an ANC hit squad and jailed in Zambia.

I don't think it's a retelling of the story, it's an expansion of the story.

Fred Bridgland, author and award-winning foreign correspondent

I grew increasingly concerned about all the "little people" and unimportant whose lives were affected and sometimes totally destroyed by the Mandela United Football Club.

Fred Bridgland, author and award-winning foreign correspondent

I was intrigued by the question of how Winnie Mandela's prison sentence was reduced to a fine of just R15 000, after she was sentenced to six years in prison in connection to the murder of Stompie Seipei.

Fred Bridgland, author and award-winning foreign correspondent

It's not so much me speaking ill of Winnie Mandela... I've mainly reported the stories of people who came into her circle.

Fred Bridgland, author and award-winning foreign correspondent

I do believe Katiza Cebekhulu. I think the evidence is fairly overwhelming.

Fred Bridgland, author and award-winning foreign correspondent

Listen to the in-depth conversation on The John Maytham Show:


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