25 April 2018

South Africa: Twitter's Perspective of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's Legacy

analysis

The story of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's life has been re-written in just a few days. If we weren't uncertain of what to believe before, we now have even more narratives to take into account. Her life has become a cipher - all things to all people.

Winnie Mandela - activist, freedom fighter, advocate for violent resistance, possible accessory to murder, mother, wife, philanthropist, iconoclast - died on the 2nd of April 2018. She left behind her a monumental and sometimes disputed legacy of fearless activism and fierce confrontation which spanned the full arch of the apartheid period, from the Rivonia Trial, to liberation in 1994, and the current post-liberation discontent. In some ways, her story mirrors those of many South Africans, and in other ways some of her choices appear completely alien to us. Few could know how they would behave in the situations she found herself in.

Her passing was a national event in South Africa. She was a particularly prominent voice and face of resistance when so many of her comrades had gone underground or left the country. Nowhere was her passing more vigorously marked than...

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