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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 10/98: Truth and Reconciliation  
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Truth and Reconciliation Thursday, 29 October, 1998, 17:23 GMT
TRC findings: Winnie
Still has strong support among the ANC grassroots
South Africa's Truth Commission has judged Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of President Mandela, to have been implicated in murders.

Truth and Reconciliation
The commission's report also says she allowed her home to be used as a place for assault and mutilation.

The report said her bodyguards, nicknamed the Mandela United Football Club, were involved in "killing, torture, assaults and arson in the community."

Those who opposed Ms Madikizela-Mandela and the football club were "branded as informers and killed," said the report.

"It is the finding of this commission that Ms Madikizela-Mandela had knowledge and/or participated in the activities of club members, and/or that they were authorised and/or sanctioned by her.

"The commission finds further that Madikizela-Mandela herself was responsible for committing such gross violations of human rights," it said.

The TRC says that where amnesty has not been sought, or has been denied, prosecution should be considered in cases where there is evidence of gross human rights violations.

Disowned

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who is 64, was virtually disowned by the African National Congress after her bodyguards were linked to murders and kidnappings in Soweto in the 1980s.

She was convicted of kidnapping and beating a young activist in the dying days of apartheid.

Despite these earlier setbacks, she has so far remained one of the ruling ANC's most popular leaders among the grassroots and is still a powerful party figure as leader of the ANC Women's League.

The report acknowledged Ms Madikizela-Mandela's role in the liberation struggle, but said this had been tarnished by the subsequent disclosures of murder, torture and intimidation for which her football club is blamed.

"What is so tragic is that a figure such as Madikizela-Mandela, with her own rich history of contribution to the struggle, became embroiled in a controversy that caused immeasurable damage to her reputation," it said.

See also:

30 Oct 98 | Truth and Reconciliation
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