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Mbalula defends Madikizela-Mandela over Stompie Seipei saga

Fikile Mbalula says that he was part of the era of Stompie Seipei and the stalwart took care of young activists, including Seipei, as if they were her own.

The ANC's Fikile Mbalula at the Soweto home of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on 5 April 2018. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) chairperson of the election subcommittee Fikile Mbalula has joined other party leaders who speedily reacted in defence of late stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

In some reflections of the struggle hero, others have blamed her for the kidnapping and necklacing of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei.

This is despite former police commissioner George Fivaz announcing recently that his investigation exempted her from the allegations.

Speaking at Mam’ Winnie’s memorial in Soweto, Mbalula says he was part of the era of Stompie Seipei and the stalwart took care of young activists, including Seipei, as if they were her own.

He says he and other ANC members hid in her house and this is how the moniker of "mother of the nation" was birthed.

“When you say 'Mother of the Nation' it’s not a Happy Valentine’s Day, it’s not a lovers’ connection. It is born out of the love for her people and as a mother, everybody will run to Winnie Mandela (sic).”

Mbalula says those who look at the late freedom fighter and link her relevance to the anti-apartheid struggle with her former husband make a grave historical mistake.

WATCH: Bathabile Dlamini: Mama Winnie was larger than life

Meanwhile, Madikizela-Mandela’s family and the African National Congress have set visiting hours for the public to visit her home and pay their respects to the late anti-apartheid icon.

In a statement released on Thursday evening, the two parties say that the public can have access to the house between 11am and 9pm each day.

The statement says: “This will allow the family some time to reflect and to get the much-needed rest as preparations continue for the final send-off of Mama Winnie.”

The ANC has also announced a 10-day plan of event in honour of Madikizela-Mandela.

She will be laid to rest on 14 April.

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