For Winnie: Danto's Analysis on Coverage of Mandela Legacy

Now that Madiba is dead: Remember to remember that icons created by oppressors will never liberate the people. Madiba is dead: Condolences to heroic mother Winnie.

Ezili Dantò‘s analysis of the current colonial narrative on the Mandela legacy

For warrior mother, Winnie Madikezela Mandela and our children

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

Nelson Mandela is dead at 95 years old. The African National Congress liberation movement he led, helped make white minority rule and apartheid in Africa a monstrous reality no decent human would wish to be associated with.

Since Mandela’s death, the same international powers that keep the structural conditions alive for Black suffering worldwide, are universally heralding the man and his great achievements. The same corporatocracy who helped keep South Africa and the global South in economic chains and political instability to increase their money-making profits, are lining up to have their pictures taken at the funeral.

South Africa apartheid criminals at work
South Africa apartheid criminals at work

Nelson Mandela and the South African peoples’ long struggle is reduced to a celebration of one man who spent 27 years in prison, doesn’t hate his white oppressors or wish them the violent deaths, deprivations and grief they metered out to millions of South Africans.

In fact, African lands, control of resources and properties taken through genocide were kept by the white minority. The racist oppressors gave up fairly nothing, are today richer, without guilt and no longer international pariahs. Mandela supposedly forgave them for their global racist system!

The ever-present colonial message is that Mandela is honorable and great for this appeasement. But most other Blacks are corrupt, criminal, inferior, violent. His former wife, Winnie Mandela, is generally put in this category. This is basically the totality of the message being uplifted as the meaning of the Mandela legacy. Over and over again the media tell us that if Mandela had not forgiven his jailers, South Africa would have fallen into upheaval and brutal war. What they mean is that the wealthy white pro-apartheid folks there would have been disturbed for the Black majority were already at war.

Another missing part of the story is that apartheid/white minority rule and neocolonialism is a global system and did not end with the release of Nelson Mandela.

Winnie and Nelson Mandela

Hardly ever mentioned favorably is the role of the Black African and Cuban soldiers in defeating the minority government. Especially pivotal was the defeat of the South African apartheid army at the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola (1988) – a defeat in combat that Nelson Mandela himself said hastened the end of legal apartheid and his release from prison.

Also brushed aside is that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s wife, kept the South African Black liberation movement going during the 27-years her husband was put in prison and after.

With her freedom-fighting husband locked up, heroic mother Winnie Mandela had to manage her own needs and the care of her children alone while being hounded by the apartheid police at every turn. Imposed griefs like this, as well as the millions massacred and removed under colonialism in Africa, are glossed over in the Western media’s rush to reinforce the colonial narrative that Black leadership

Winnie and Nelson full of life!

greatest lie only in the ability to take the system’s punishment without anger and constantly express gratitude and awe for the few assimilated ones allowed to move into “white areas.”

The pivotal question is, would there have been this iconic, revered Nelson Mandela, without the resistance work of Winnie Mandela and others who defended their natural and inalienable human rights and had nothing to atone for, compared to the horrors suffered under direct white minority rule and apartheid?

Is putting a Black face in command of the same racist, profit-over-people economic system – as with President Barack Obama in the US – a great change?

In an exclusive interview with CCTV, the former Mrs. Mandela explains how she took on the mantle of leadership after Nelson Mandela went to prison and the worst of the apartheid regime. (See, also Exclusive interview: Winnie Mandela remembers Nelson Mandela , Banishment of Winnie Mandela, 1983 interview Brandfort, OFS, Winnie’s prison suicide plan and She Was Discarded, Demonised and Betrayed.)

Exclusive interview: Winnie Mandela remembers Nelson Mandela
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, A Tribute to Women in the Struggle

“Banishment of Winnie Mandela”, 1983 interview Brandfort, OFS

Apartheid Did Not Die from John Pilger

Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela
Cuba’s role in beating back South African imperialism, freeing Mandela, defeating legal apartheid

End apartheid in the Dominican Republic

Urge all nations to declare DR a rogue nation for instituting legal apartheid and civil genocide, stripping citizenship rights of Black Dominicans.

“Wherever the UN or the NGO go, genocide and more privatization of the planet by the ruling minority white oligarchs, follow” – Ezili Dantò of HLLN
Haiti’s Holocaust and Middle Passage Continues

This writing reMEMBERS Winnie Mandela and the South African women and men like Chris Hani who kept the liberation movement going, giving up their lives, freedom and personal happiness. This post honors the other Nelson Mandela – the warrior who took up arms to defend his people, not the 72 year old gracious but accommodating man who walked out of Robben Island and promptly became the corporate figurehead for “good liberation” sold to a world in need of sanity.

Mandela liberated the oppressor.

But Janjak Desalin would ask, “what about Africa’s children, their equitable share in wealth, health, security, wholeness, dignity – a decent standard of living? What about the oppressors atoning for the unspeakable atrocities Black South Africans endured?

It’s been duly noted that Mandela “agreed to a bad deal for the blacks” Through Mandela, white capital was able to keep its vice grip on South Africa’s economic power while the masses were given a beguiling opium in the form of Madiba magic. See, John Pilger’s documentary: Apartheid Did Not Die.

This post shares a few worthy links and excerpts of tributes to Mandela. Sends condolences to the still suffering peoples Mandela gave his life force and liberty to represent.

For Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who should not have had to suffer more humiliation after the release of her husband from 27 years of wrongful imprisonment, and for all the women, men and children, of all the Sowetos in South Africa, who endured the white minority’s brutality, face the continuing legacy of apartheid in South Africa, we Haitians who are battling Dominican Republic apartheid, loss of citizenship and a 10-year US/Euro occupation behind UN guns and humanitarian imperialism in Ayiti, say “you’re not alone.”

Nou la!- Desalin’s descendants are still here, not reconciling with injustice. Nou pap bay legen. The long walk to freedom continues.

Blatant South African apartheid may have become unacceptable worldwide. But its replacement, economic and civil apartheid continues to be the norm.

The world awaits.

Will the first (in their “new world’) Black republic (Ayiti) and the latest Black republic (South Africa) finish the long walk to Black independence? Help get rid of white minority rule (neocolonialism worldwide) and its profit over people system? Live with independence, transparent and participatory democracy without the global white minority’s interference? Replace selections by the global white powers with one person one vote elections?

Winnie and Nelson Mandela

The same white supremacist, profit-over-people system that pronounced Black Haiti was not ready for independence in 1804, also nearly 200-years later in 1994, opined that Black South Africans were not ready to rule themselves without the colonial white minority’s economic, cultural and social controls and conditions. The oppressors still point to Haiti and Zimbabwe as failed states for kicking them out. Still use all their Ndoki forces to angelize whites, demonize Blacks. The colonial narrative proclaims the colonists’ benevolence, innocence and blamelessness while promoting Black guilt and responsibility for the poverty and instabilities in Haiti and Africa.

Will the corporatocracy ever give up its monopolies, its gated communities built on genocide and death of mostly non-whites and the poor worldwide? Atone for the crimes against humanity since their new world began? No.

White domination has no conscience. Haiti’s current occupation by the US/Euros behind UN guns and the white saviors’ charitable industrial complex, evidences the Western powers continuing 500-year-old international crimes.

Yes, Mandela’s legacy says we should live free, take our freedom and expect to exercise our own perfect self-expression just as Janjak Desalin intended for all children who would slide down the Black woman’s thighs.

Self-defense is a human right, even in a world lost within white domination and its seductive delusions.

Heroic mother, Winnie Mandela, the Black South African leaders who stayed the course, the African majority, Haiti and the few of us in Haiti left still lifting up Desalin’s ideals, have a right to self defense. Reconciling with injustice merely delays justice for centuries, if not millenniums more.

Ezili Dantò of HLLN,
December 8, 2013

Distributed by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN)

More recommended references:


The long walk to freedom continues

“I was made, by the law a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, and because of what I thought” — Nelson Mandela

“Whites in Africa believe that worn out Mandela who they once made justification to keep in prison for 27-years is the only honorable black person; while the rest of Africans are corrupt, criminals, rapists, drunkards and uneducated buffoons.” — Ve Mee

Stolen lives

“What did the Black South African leaders and African majority do to the murderous white supremacist minority to have to reconcile for that would compare? Self-defense is a human right. Reconciling with injustice merely delays justice for decades, if not centuries more.” — Ezili Dantò of HLLN. (Read also Ezili’s Haiti post: End apartheid in the Dominican Republic.)

“Remember when Madiba called George W. Bush “a small little man”? In the accolades following Mandela’s Transition, it’s interesting that the words “peacemaker”, “reconciliation” and even “non-violent” are being heard on the N.E.W.S. We forget the reason why Mandela stayed in prison for so many years was because he *refused* to renounce violence as a means of dismantling apartheid. As usual, the white world wants to emphasize his “gentle” nature rather than his warrior spirit. He had both…” — Dr. Ray Winbush

Nelson and Winnie Mandela, day of his release from prison after 27 years

now that Madiba is dead
From M Thandabantu Iverson

now that Madiba is dead…

beware the icon makers
they will say he was great
they will laud his calls for peace
they will wring their hands and cry
speaking only of the man
disregarding the people
explaining away the movement
pretending the revolution was won
they will deny their guilt
denying their privilege
obscuring his birth in the pains and the blood of his people
denying the capital crimes
of neoliberal friends of apartheid still alive
now that Mandela is dead

they will say no one else will come
they will wink that we still organize
they will pretend that de Klerk was his friend
they will ignore the birth pangs in Jo’burg today
pretending to honor him with deceitful silence
in the face of Capetown shanties and Manenburg misery
and Durban oppression
while former murderers still prey
and bougie negros still play
while lying bishops still pray
and corporations still rape
and the people in South Africa still die
like people across the Global South
as the Revolution dies as Madiba’s children live in squalor
as the wine growers awake in shacks
as the homeless sleep beneath the floors of stores—after hours
when they will not be seen while they are still being sold

beware the speakers of phrases that lie
they will disremember liberation struggles
that have yet to be won
they will pretend that Mandela belonged to them
denying the people to whom he belonged

remember to remember Chris Hani
remember to remember Robben Island
remember to remember the South African Charter
remember to remember that icons created by oppressors
will never liberate the people
remember to remember that they are still killing Martin
remember to remember that they are still killing Malcolm
remember to remember that Assata still lives
remember to remember that our liberation will be sold to us for profits
unless we work for it with our minds and our actions
then we will remember Mandela as he was
for he will live inside us
and the lies will no longer deceive
because the struggle will continue
and the last will be first at last


Madiba is dead: Condolences to heroic mother Winnie, stay with us warrior mother, to guide us straight on the path of freedom, peace and justice

via Jafrikayiti Jean Elissaint Saint-Vil
“Dear Winnie Madikizela,

Thank you for the long walk you’ve taken alongside brother Rolihlahla, during these rough years when the hypocrites and the criminals who now sing fake praises of him, dubbed you and your comrade-husband “terrorists”.

Sincere condolences to you beautiful Mother of the Nation. May your presence here with us help the world remember why so many Steve Biko, so many Sobukwe, so many Sisulu, so many MBeki had to sacrifice their youth, their innocence, their lives, over so many years.

Nou bese byen ba pou nou salye pasaj Rolihlahla nan ran zansèt yo. E nou di ou Manman Winnie, rete ak nou pou anpil tan anko paske nou bezwen ou pou ede nou kontinye mache dwat sou chimen libète, lapè ak lajistis.

Ayibobo! Amandla!”
Dec. 6, 2013


“Black women are discriminated by the white supremacy; they have to contend with male prejudice fed by patriarchal notions, they suffer abuse from white women who are also beneficiaries of white supremacy. At the same time, they are expected to form alliances with these women to defeat male privilege. They are expected to be in solidarity with their male folks to fight racial oppression. In this regard they have little choice. They cannot sit on the sideline and watch the black male being reduced to an endangered species. After all, these men are the fathers of their children, the lovers, and their sons. In short, there is no other species that understand oppression as black women do.”— Winnie Madikezela Mandela, “Being A Black Woman In The World, Part 1.”


Winnie’s prison suicide plan
She Was Discarded, Demonised and Betrayed
Winnie Mandela accuses Nelson of ‘betraying’ the blacks of South Africa

Question Time: South Africa after Mandela, (December 12, 2013)

Did He Jump or Was He Pushed? The Mandela Years in Power

New York Times’ Mandela Obituary Headline Couldn’t Have Been More Wrong

The iconicity of “peaceful resistance”

“ American bourgeois fantasy life, the only good liberation struggles are Gandhi and King, and if a struggle does not match that mythologized template, could not have matched it, it will be roundly condemned while it is ongoing, and if it happens to be successful (despite us), its history will be rewritten. [ED’s Note: Contrary to the mainstream Western powers’ mythologize template sold to the world, Gandhi was a racist who did not support equality for either the South Africans or the Dalit. The Ghandi myth is to keep the oppressed from exercising self defense. The message is to endure, forgive, reconcile with white supremacist injustice and wait for their mythical change to come.)

The dialectic is a familiar one and a little sad. There is a way in which the myth of peaceful resistance is flattering to the oppressor and disabling to the oppressed. It’s as much the oppressor’s narrative as anyone’s.

“You ought not to fight us with more than the image of your own broken body,” it says, “for we who oppress you are good and rational most of the time. We have the same interests as you, and understand that you enjoy the same basic rights. We, your rulers, simply need to have our consciences pricked from time to time.”

By couching the antipathy as a mere moral lapse, the oppressor is permitted simultaneously to deny the actual material basis of the social division and hence the necessity for a struggle for liberation that is more than merely symbolic, and to perform a mental splitting-off from its own identity of those aspects of itself it can now pretend were inessential deviations from its rational, humanistic core. Just as the United States broadly did with the benighted South of Bull Connor and the Klan.

As if the story of American racist oppression was one of mere regional ideological peccadillo and not one of the founding principles of the whole nation’s economic structure. As if the story of Apartheid were simply those nasty Afrikaners and their gauche racism. They’d probably lived in Africa too long and allowed its “tribalism” to rub off on them, and so deviated from the European universalist norm. Still, one of us in the end, eh?

That’s the funny thing about colonialism even when it’s visible, it appears only in ideological garb flattering to the oppressor.”  (Entire article at The iconicity of “peaceful resistance”: The New York Times’ Mandela Obituary Headline Couldn’t Have Been More Wrong)


Exclusive interview: Winnie Mandela remembers Nelson Mandela

“One of the most important figures in Nelson Mandela’s life was Winnie Mandela… his former wife and an incredible anti-apartheid activist in her own right. For decades, she fought the worst of the regime and at one point was charged with treason… and put in solitary confinement.  In a world exclusive, CCTV anchor James Chau went to Johannesburg in October… where he spoke to Mrs. Mandela. The interview was filmed at the same house in Johannesburg where lived on his release from prison and where he wrote his biography, Long Walk to Freedom.” —Exclusive interview: Winnie Mandela remembers Nelson Mandela


Nelson Mandela: Obama, Clinton, Cameron, Blair – Tributes of Shameful Hypocrisy – Hypocrisy and lies that give the super powers license to kill everywhere


Nelson Mandela – Full Speech At Start Rivonia Trial (20 April 1964)

When Mandela wasn’t the messiah:
“…Mandela was arrested and imprisoned in 1962. In the late 1980s he rejected a number of offers of freedom in return for a repudiation of violence. He wrote in his memoirs that it was always the oppressor, not the oppressed, who dictated the form that the struggle would take. If the oppressor used violence, the oppressed had no choice but to respond with violence. Only violence, supported by popular mobilisation and by ever more restrictive international sanctions, was able to demonstrate the stupidity of the apartheid system and force the white minority government to change. Having established the principle of “one man, one vote”, Mandela and the ANC showed they could be flexible through their efforts to build a “rainbow nation” and the guarantees they made to the white minority. They even scaled down their plans for social transformation – but that is another story.

..The intervention of Cuban troops in Angola in 1975 and the victories they won, especially at Cuito Cuanavale in 1988, weakened the government’s military power and highlighted the impasse that it faced. Cuito Cuanavale was, according to Mandela, “a turning point for the liberation of our continent and my people” (4). Mandela did not forget the part Cuba had played and Fidel Castro was a guest of honour at Mandela’s inauguration as president in 1994.

In this clash between the black population and the white minority government, the US, the UK, Israel and France took the wrong side…” (Entire article at “When Mandela wasn’t the messiah,” by Alain Gresh, Le Monde diplomatic | Dec. 6, 2013)

“‘Apartheid is certainly a deplorable system, but change must come without violence.’ If the ANC had listened to his advice (or that of Ronald Reagan) and shown restraint, Mandela would have died in prison, South Africa would have fallen into chaos and the world would not have been able to construct the legend of the new messiah.” –“When Mandela wasn’t the messiah,” by Alain Gresh, Le Monde diplomatic

Nelson Mandela death: The women who loved him


“Nelson Mandela was almost 72 years old when he was released from jail. By then he had been involved in the organised struggle for national liberation for 45 years, the greater part of his life.” — Thabo Mbeki, Farewell, Madiba , Dec 6, 2013

Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

Remembering Chris Hani
Chris Hani, born Martin Thembisile Hani (28 June 1942 – 10 April 1993) was the leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). He was a fierce opponent of the apartheid government. He was assassinated on 10 April 1993…Hani was a charismatic leader, with significant support among the radical anti-apartheid youth. At the time of his death, he was the most popular ANC leader after Nelson Mandela, and was sometimes perceived as a rival to the more moderate party leadership. Following the legalisation of the ANC, Hani’s support for the negotiation process with the apartheid government was critical in keeping the militants in line.

End apartheid in the Dominican Republic


Apartheid Did Not Die from John Pilger on Vimeo.


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