December 29, 2013

On this day December 29th...

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

the 29th of December, 1981 Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was banned for another five years and continued to be banished and restricted to the small Orange Free State town of Brandfort.

Four and a half years earlier on the 16th of May, 1977 Winnie Mandela, was banished to a dusty Afrikaner dominated town of Brandfort in the Free State where she was unceremoniously dumped at house 802 with her youngest daughter, Zinzi. There was no running water, no electricity, and the house had no floors or ceilings. The town was hostile, and the people spoke mainly Sotho, Tswana or Afrikaans, and hardly any Xhosa, which was Winnie's home language. Winnie took a provocative stance, and would spend hours in the White shops empowering the shop-keepers with political ideologies. In her banishment order, Winnie was given a condition of either leaving South Africa for Swaziland or Transkei , which was regarded as independent by the South African government. However, she chose to remain in South Africa, where she continued fighting for the liberation of her people and at times arrested for defying her banishment order.

Her life in Brandfort was lonely. However, her youngest daughter was sent away to study, whilst her oldest daughter had married a Swazi Prince and moved to America. Helen Suzman captured the isolation when she wrote that Winnie waited outside the local telephone booth between 10 am and 4 pm waiting for calls from friends and relations. But when friends, like Helen Joseph, Barbara Waite, Ilona Kleinschmidt, and others came to visit her in Brandfort, they were harassed and often taken to court and imprisoned, for not notifying the authorities about their visits.

Winnie Mandela was thereafter sentenced on February 9 1978 to six months' imprisonment (suspended for four years) for breaking her banning and house arrest order by receiving unauthorized visits by friends and relatives., restricted to a Black township at Brandfort (Orange Free State).

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