Sir Vidia & Lady Nadira Naipaul and Winnie Mandela in Sowetho. V. S. Naipaul was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2001. He insists his writing transcends any particular ideological outlook, remarking that "to have a political view is to be prejudiced. I don't have a political view." Nadira Naipaul had worked as a journalist for the Pakistani newspaper, The Nation, for ten years before meeting Naipaul. [Wiki & Eve. Std]
Winnie goes on a Major PR and Victimhood Offensive; I particularly fancied her 'Johnny come lately revolutionary' reference! But she is deathly silent about how the Naipaul's must have photoshopped that photo of them in Sowetho on the day of the ‘ficticious interview’. But then we forget, we are smack bang in Nelson Mandela Foundation Ministry of Truth land, and Winnie appears to be giving Orders that the interview should be erased down the Orwellian memory hole... And if it isn't true; why haven't Winnie and her precious Nelson Mandela Ministry of Truth instructed their lawyers to sue the Naipauls for defamation?? Eish, that should be an interesting trial...
'Ms Naipaul is a liar and a fraud'
As the controversy rages, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela denies giving any interview disparaging Nelson Mandela
Mar 14, 2010 12:00 AM
I returned this week from a week-long visit abroad to be confronted by headlines generated by a story in the London Evening Standard. Their story was based on comments I am alleged to have made in an interview with a journalist, Nadira Naipaul, wife of writer VS Naipaul.
Let me start by categorically stating that this is completely false. I gave no interview of any kind to Ms Naipaul. It is therefore not necessary for me to respond to the far-fetched content of a fabricated interview.
That the Evening Standard published the so-called interview without checking with me is disturbing, but one supposes that this is the way the tabloid media industry works. That the South African media would pick it up and publish it verbatim is even more disturbing. Does it mean that because they could not reach me they would give a distant journalist and a paper known for its sensationalism the benefit of the doubt, and not me?
I am on this occasion taking this unusual step of addressing myself particularly to the South African media, although it is common knowledge that I prefer not to explain myself or discuss family matters in the media. I do this now because of the very real danger that this kind of irresponsible reporting could undermine the unity of my family, the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the high regard in which the name "Mandela" is held here and across the world.
Journalists often forget that we are human beings. I know that being a Mandela seems inherently to attract public scrutiny. Everything we do and say is put under the microscope. But often this is not because of the content and context of what we say, but because of some "new angle" that makes for good headlines.
Take last month. We, together with the whole world, were celebrating a truly historic 20th anniversary: the release of political prisoners, including my ex-husband; the unbanning of political organisations, including my own organisation, the ANC;and the return of exiles.
I was privileged to deliver a paper at the University of the Witwatersrand, entitled "Madiba: 20 years on". I also granted a few interviews. But I remained silent when my daughter was vilified for telling the story of her father's release, something she sacrificed her youth for. I did not respond when I was the victim of a flurry of criticism for allegedly boycotting an event at Victor Verster Prison. The truth is, I learnt about my expected appearance from the media, who had received an itinerary of events from the ANC. I assumed once again that my name had been put on yet another programme by some Johnny-come-lately revolutionary who wanted to use the Mandela name to draw crowds, but who really did not care if we were there or not.
I did not set the record straight even when all manner of speculation was printed on my choice of seat at the opening of parliament, even as I was shunted about from place to place, simply because I was honouring a request, by both Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, to sit with them at this event.
I raise these examples to illustrate the tendency of the media to publish anything they are offered about the Mandelas, especially if it is negative.
Well, Ms Naipaul is a liar and a fraud - I gave her no interview. Why did my rare interviews during that 20th-anniversary week and the speech I gave at Wits not get any real media coverage?
Is it because journalists don't want to tamper with the stereotypical "bad" Winnie Mandela that many of them created? I would like to see who asks what I said during my recent trip to the US. No, I did not go to raise money, nor was it a social junket. I delivered a lecture at the University of Alabama on our experiences during and after our struggle for liberation.
Is this the aggrieved outpouring of an angry and bitter person? I am more hurt than angry, and I will not allow myself to sink into bitterness. But I now have the task of undoing the damage that Ms Naipaul, a charlatan and imposter, has done through her libellous article.
I have already had the opportunity to speak to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was also in Atlanta. I intend to speak with Madiba and Graça, as I always do. I will have to deal with the hurt caused to my children and grandchildren by the unwarranted and untrue statements about their private lives. I appreciate the fact that my organisation, the ANC, decided to hear my "side" before making any judgments.
Beyond that I have nothing to explain, certainly not about the contents of a nonexistent interview. I will also not allow that malicious report to stifle my participation in the very real debate about economic freedom and the endemic inequalities in our country.
It is also necessary to reiterate what my daughter Zindzi said recently: Nobody owns Madiba. Nobody, not even the ANC which he and I love equally can dispossess his family of the Mandela legacy. Although it is the duty of all of us to use every opportunity to make reference to Madiba in an effort to enrich our democracy, it is only Nelson Mandela and the legacy institutions he has created (like the Nelson Mandela Foundation) that have the right to speak on his behalf.
Finally, I repeat, I did not give Ms Naipaul any interview. It is a figment of her malicious imagination.
If any journalist has any further questions about what she wrote, call her - don't call me. I will continue to address my people at community meetings and in conversations with the youth. If you are genuinely interested in my views, come to those encounters.
Nadira Naipaul could not be reached for comment. The London Evening Standard's managing editor, Doug Wills, told the SABC on Friday that the interview did take place, and that Madikizela-Mandela posed for a picture with Nadira and VS Naipaul after it.
» » » » [Sunday Times]
» » [M&G Press Code Violations: e: “Mandela: Icon of Freedom & Forgiveness”]
» » [Is Winnie Mandela Schizophrenic, a Hypocrit, Confused, or got Alzheimers?]
» » [Winnie & “Dr. Truth” Agree: TRC was a charade, a political PR publicity stunt...]
» » [The [Mandela Naipaul] clash between belief & unbelief, in postcolonial SA...]