Term Paper: Winnie Mandela. The Writer Focuses

Pages: 10 (2699 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Mandela. Even more shocking was the claim by prosecutors that her anger at the 14-year-old and three other teens who were murdered was self-driven. She reportedly had them killed because they would not participate in her plan to discredit another one of her many enemies. When they refused to take part in the plan she reportedly had them murdered by her football team members (McCarthy, 1997).

While many of her followers turned on her in light of these new revelations, there were others who understood how she came to condone and order murder. They point to the fact that she spent year being afraid and paranoid because of the various government and political factions that wanted her dead. She had to constantly hide, and when she was in public she was forced to present a face of defiance so that her followers would remain strong and calm in the fight against apartheid. If she displayed fear or weakness then the followers may have believed they had no hope of winning. After years of having to hold her head up while being handcuffed and jailed, years of being away from her children in the name of equality and years of hearing rumors that there were plans to kill her and stop her leadership for good she had to develop a hard shell of protection. This caused her to be able to rationalize to herself that whatever actions were needed to further the cause of freedom were actions well worth taking.

Winnie Mandela paid a terrible price for openly opposing the apartheid government. She raised her children alone while her husband languished in jail for 27 years. She refused to go into exile (McCarthy, 1997). During the worst period of government oppression of political dissent, she kept Nelson Mandela's name alive and reminded black South Africans that the revolution was not dead. Beaten, confined to house arrest and repeatedly jailed, she was banished in 1977 to the remote village of Brandfort, where she was allowed to see only one visitor at a time (McCarthy, 1997). When she brazenly defied the government and moved home to Soweto in 1985, it was a victory over apartheid second only to Nelson Mandela's release from prison four years later (McCarthy, 1997). Isolated from the mainstream movement by her years of banishment, Winnie Mandela was nonetheless a key target of the government. With violence swirling around her and government spies everywhere, it was hard to know whom to trust, and trusting the wrong person could lead to her death (McCarthy, 1997)."

After many years of this she was driven to surround herself with others who were not afraid to do whatever it took to protect her and her family. This meant the hiring of thugs and unsavory people. The case of Patricia Hurst many years ago raised the question of coming to trust those who kidnapped her. In this same line it is possible that Mandela came to trust and love those who protected her even though they were involved in some very unsavory life events. She felt safe for the first time in her life and was able to sleep knowing that she would not be attacked in the middle of the night. Because this felt so calming for her it is possible that she began to see them in a light society would not understand and that their ways became her ways due to her admiration of them.

She had spent so much time in prison; jail and exile that she became rouge herself. She became the type of person who her body guards had become. She was an outcast of the government but because of the various punishments she received she had chances to meet and commingle with criminals in prison and perhaps she began to muddy the line between right and wrong and good and evil. Years of prison and isolation may have caused her to be able to relate to the other side of the law (Nomzamo Nobandla Winnifred MADIKIZELAMANDELA http://www.anc.org.za/people/mandela_nw.html)..

CONCLUSION

Throughout the history of the world there have been activists who have risen to fame because of their ability to lead. Political activists often walk a fine line between obeying the law and promoting the actions that it will take to affect the change that they want accomplished. If everyone obeyed every law and rule there was the changes that have occurred worldwide for the betterment of mankind would never have happened. It is a difficult life to choose when one becomes a political activist because the person who is leading the masses has to guide their followers to be as law abiding as possible without being oppressed and subservient. The leaders do encourage things such as sit ins and other activities but they must be ever mindful that the laws are being broken even when it comes to sit ins. Winnie Mandela grew up with a man as her guide. Because her mother died when she was young the female activist had a man to model herself after. In addition she married Nelson Mandela who is one of the most active political freedom activists the nation has ever seen. These things combined with the years of persecution that she endured brought Winnie Mandela to a place where she was able to cross from right to wrong and believe in her position. The football team she hired to protect her was comprised of thugs and law breakers. She needed this to feel safe in a world where her own government was apt to arrange her demise. This and her past experiences with those who wanted her silenced brought her to a place where the lines became blurred. Regardless of her involvement in the murders she was tried for the fact remains that Winnie Mandela has moved millions to the fight for fairness and her willingness to give up her own life and needs for the good of her country must account for something.

References

Winnie Mandela: Fallen political heir http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1998/10/98/truth_and_reconciliation/202516.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2115569.stm

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Brendan Boyle; Reuters, WINNIE MANDELA FACES ACCUSERS WITNESSES FROM SOWETO TELL TRUTH COMMISSION OF TORTURE AND MURDERS BY LEADER AND HER SQUAD., Denver Rocky Mountain News, 11-25-1997, pp 31A.

Tom Cohen / Associated Press, Madikizela-Mandela defends herself: But testimony angers some, raises questions about value of hearing., The Dallas Morning News, 12-05-1997, pp 1A.

Sheryl McCarthy, In the Vise of Apartheid, Hero Turned Villian., Newsday, 12-08-1997, pp A32.

A not available, WINNIE UNFAZED OVER PENDING TRC REPORT ON STOMPIE KILLING., Africa News Service, 10-13-1998.

Associated Press, Mandela ex-wife reportedly asked for '88 killings., The Dallas Morning News, 11-30-1999, pp 7A.

Mary Braid, Winnie Mandela: The Mother of the Nation or a murderous bully?., Independent, 09-26-1997, pp 13.

Nomzamo Nobandla Winnifred MADIKIZELA-MANDELA

http://www.anc.org.za/people/mandela_nw.html

Biography of Winnie Mandela

http://wi.essortment.com/biographywinnie_rbmg.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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