The Christian Science Monitor

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: For many South Africans, 'She was the movement'

As South African universities erupted in protests over the rising cost of tuition in late 2015, it was hard not to see the echoes of the country’s past in the young demonstrators’ raised fists and fearless clashes with authority. And the students themselves took that history to heart, conjuring up the names of the liberation heroes who inspired their fight.

It was people like Mandela, they said, who taught them that the world doesn’t always bend towards justice – sometimes you have to twist it that way yourself.

But the students’ Mandela wasn’t Nelson, the peacemaker and father of their so-called “Rainbow Nation.” It was Winnie, the unapologetically angry activist to whom he was once married, who never shied away from telling South Africans that she believed their beloved story of racial reconciliation was a fiction.

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