Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told investigators at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission this week that allegations about her involvement in murder and violence had been manufactured by propagandists in the former government.
Madikizela-Mandela said she had been a victim of a Stratcom operation run by the former South African Police. She named journalists and newspapers, like the then Weekly Mail, as having been used by Stratcom to blacken her name.
Madikizela-Mandela has asked for transcripts of what she told investigators at her secret hearing to be made public, but this could cause the commission legal problems as she made serious and potentially actionable allegations against named people.
A former warrant officer in the South African Police, Paul Erasmus, was the first member of Stratcom to tell of occasional covert dirty tricks against Madikizela- Mandela when he confessed to the Goldstone commission in Denmark in 1994/95.
She has since paraded him in public on several occasions, the last being a press conference two weeks ago when she also presented five young men to the media whom she said were members of the Mandela United Football Club, but four of whom are East Rand activists.
The commission is understood to be preparing to ask several members of the former Mandela Crisis Committee to testify at her public hearing next month. Among them are former leaders of the Mass Democratic Movement: Cyril Ramaphosa, Reverend Frank Chikane, Albertina Sisulu, Sydney Mufamadi and others.
The committee was formed to assist the movement’s leaders manage the crisis surrounding the behaviour of Madikizela- Mandela. They sent several communications about her behaviour and the violence of the football Club to the African National Congress in exile and visited the organisation’s leadership in Lusaka.