Winnie denies violence call

Winnie Mandela yesterday denied she had called for violence when she made her controversial “necklaces and matches” speech.

However, speaking at a May Day rally at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, she said “Pretoria” had “declared war on the people of this country” and “we accept the challenge”.

At the end of her speech, a teargas canister was tossed into the crowd or about 20 00 people in the stadium. Seven people were rushed to a nearby clinic for treatment.

“I wasn’t advocating violence,” she said, referring to her earlier remarks. “I was saying that the time would come when people shall be called upon to defend themselves, not with matches and necklaces because they could not defend themselves with this against the might of Pretoria.

“I said to you that Pretoria has driven you to a state where you must declare 1986 the year of liberation. “The panicking racists say I advocated violence. I have not done so yet.

“The time will come when I will call on you to defend yourselves with the same might that Pretoria is unleashing against people. I want to call on you to close ranks and prepare for that final onslaught.

“That day, when you are called upon to fire back, you must do so in a disciplined manner,” she told the crowd. Earlier in the day, five miners were injured when teargas was thrown into a bus outside Nancefield Hostel.

According to the injured, the bus had been stopped by police and the passengers ordered out. As the miners left the bus, a man identified as a manager from Western Deeplevel mines smashed a window with a gun and tossed a canister inside.

A busload of University of the Witwatersrand students was stopped on the way out of Soweto late yesterday. Two teargas canisters were thrown into the bus. Three students had to be treated in hospital.

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Sefako Nyaka
Guest Author

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