Winnie’s pain and torture in prison

first_imgThe ever-glamorous Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with a copy of her new book 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory) Winnie Madikizela-Mandela talks to Ahmed Kathrada at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in 2008.(Image: Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory/Matthew Willman)Winnie has lost none of her style and beauty.(Image: ancarchives.org.za)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangCEO and spokespersonNelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 5600.RELATED ARTICLES• The women in Madiba’s life• Women in the struggle remembered• Commemorating 1913 heroines• Women taking SA forwardLucille DavieWinnie Madikizela-Mandela felt particularly close to her jailed husband, Nelson, in October 1970, after she was released from serving 491 days in solitary confinement. She wrote to him on 26 October, saying: “In a way during the past two years I felt so close to you. It was the first time we were together in similar surroundings for that length of time. Eating what you were eating and sleeping on what you sleep on gave me that psychological satisfaction of being with you.”She was responding to his letter of 1 October, which read: “I had to wait for 2 weeks before I could send you my warmest congratulations for serving 491, and still emerge the lively girl you are, and in high spirits. To you and your determined friends I say welcome back! Were I at home when you returned I should have stolen a white goat from a rich man, slaughtered it and given you ivanya ne ntloya [leftover traditional beer and sour milk] to down it. Only in this way can a beggar like myself fête and honour his heroes.”Nelson was 52 years old at the time, and had served six years of his life sentence for sabotage, together with seven of his colleagues. Winnie was 36 years old, and had experienced many spells in detention, but the longest was the 491 days.When he was imprisoned on Robben Island in June 1964, her life changed radically. “The first few weeks and months after Nelson was gone, that was utter hell. Solitude, loneliness, is worse than fear – the most wretchedly painful illness the body and mind could be subjected to,” she recounts in her 1985 autobiography, Part of my Soul Went with Him.Pain and deprivationShe describes the pain and deprivation she endured during those 491 days in detention in a new book entitled 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69, a record of her journal kept during the 16 months she spent in jail, as well as letters to and from herself and Nelson, and others.The journal and papers were discovered recently by Greta Soggot, the widow of David Soggot, who was one of Winnie’s advocates during the 1970 trial. Extracts may be downloaded from the Mandela Cente of Memory website.From the moment of her marriage to Mandela in 1958, Madikizela-Mandela was doomed to decades of harassment, imprisonment and torture at the hands of the apartheid security police. It started in 1958, when she was detained for her participation in a women’s anti-pass campaign.Winnie was born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela in 1934 in the Bizana district of the former Transkei, the fifth of eight children. Her parents, Columbus and Gertrude Madikizela, were both teachers. Her mother died when she was 10, and she soon took over the domestic duties – caring for her younger siblings and her father. Madikizela-Mandela attended school where her father was a history teacher. She learned Latin and English, science and maths, and she became his favourite child. In 1952, she arrived in Johannesburg to study to be a social worker, doing her training at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.ApprehensionWinnie approached the returned journal with some apprehension. She says in the epilogue: “When the pages that make up this journal were returned to me after so many years I did not want to read them. I was afraid. There are memories you keep in a part of your brain; it is part of those things that hurt so much you do not want to remember.”She, along with other anti-apartheid activists, had been detained under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act, a new act which allowed for indefinite detention and indefinite interrogation. On 12 May 1969, the police knocked on her door in Orlando West about 2am, arresting her. She took with her a bag that was always packed for just these moments. Her daughters, Zindzi and Zeni, who were just eight and 10 at the time, clung to her skirt, crying: “Mummy, mummy don’t go.”She describes the conditions in prison. “You are imprisoned in this little cell. When you stretch your hands you touch the walls. You are reduced to a nobody, a non-value. It is like killing you alive. You are alive because you breathe. You are deprived of everything – your dignity, your everything,” she writes.Extremely illDespite Winnie’s strength of mind and fierce fighting spirit, she became extremely ill during her 491-day stay in prison, the result of long months of solitary confinement and the poor diet, which often consisted of porridge with maggots in it. She suffered chest pains, palpitations, body spasms, haemorrhaging, loss of appetite and chronic weight loss.She was admitted to hospital several times. Then she decided on a new course of action. “I decided I would commit suicide but would do so gradually so that I should die of natural causes to spare Nelson and the children the pains of knowing I had taken my life,” she wrote in April 1970. “I thought there would be no better method of focusing the world attention on the terror of the Terrorism Act than this.”Her illness continued, until she was taking 12 drugs daily, but she never carried out her decision, although the feeling lingered. “I was so happy at times I fell asleep and hoped I would not get up the following day even if I had not gone as far as the hospital, I did not care anymore.”After five sleepless days and nights of continuous interrogation, she signed a confession. Finally, in October, she appeared in court with 21 others, charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and the Unlawful Organisations Act, including furthering the aims of the ANC and conspiring to commit sabotage. The charges were withdrawn, and her confession was never produced in court.But as they were leaving the court, the police again arrested the group and returned them to jail. In August, they were charged with 540 offences, which were almost identical to the previous charges. On 14 September, the charges were dropped and they were free to go. Two weeks later, Winnie was served with a five-year banning order and was placed under house arrest.She survived solitary confinement but also endured shorter spells in prison. “Solitary confinement was designed to kill you so slowly that you were long dead before you died. By the time you died, you were nobody. You had no soul anymore and a body without a soul is a corpse anyway. It is unbelievable that you survived all that,” she writes now.Banning orders, prison sentencesWinnie’s life of bannings and imprisonment started in 1962, four years after she married Nelson. She was banned and restricted to Johannesburg for two years in 1962, the same year in which Nelson was sentenced to five years in prison for leaving the country illegally and organising a mass stayaway.It went on for years: in 1965, she was banned for five years and restricted to Orlando in Soweto. In 1967, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for failing to give her name and address to the security police. In 1971, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for communicating with a banned person in her house. The conviction was set aside on appeal, but in 1972 she was again sentenced for having visitors at her house. Again the sentence was set aside on appeal.In 1973, she was sentenced to 12 months suspended for three years for having lunch with her children in a vehicle in the presence of a banned person. The sentence was reduced on appeal to six months, which she served at Kroonstad prison. In 1976, she was detained without trial for four months after the June 16 Soweto uprising, in which marching schoolchildren were fired upon by the police, and some 500 died across the country on the day.In 1977, her banning order was renewed for five years – in 13 years, she lived for only 10 months without a banning order.BrandfortThen, in May 1997, in a devastating move, she was banished to Brandfort, a tiny town in Free State province, some 200 kilometres from Johannesburg, with her 16-year-old daughter, Zinzi. She lived in a small box house, with “no running water, no electricity, and the house had no floors or ceilings. The town was hostile, and the people spoke mainly Sotho, Tswana or Afrikaans, and hardly any Xhosa, which was Winnie’s home language,” says Sheila Meintjies in a 1998 report, Winnie Madikizela Mandela: Tragic figure? Populist tribune? Township tough?But Winnie wasn’t daunted. Carrying a bucket of cold water back to the three-roomed house, she showed she still had style. “She might have looked despondent, but it didn’t show. Instead she looked superb, wearing a smart skirt and jersey, a fashionable pair of boots, and a silk hat on her head,” recounts Emma Gilbey in The Lady, The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela, published in 1994.She opened a clinic and a crèche, and initiated feeding schemes for the young children of Brandfort, where she lived for nine years.Return to SowetoBut she defiantly returned to Soweto in 1986, where she formed the Mandela United Football Club – the members, in effect, were her personal bodyguards. In 1991, she was charged and convicted for the assault and abduction of 15-year-old activist Stompie Seipei. She received a six-year sentence which was reduced to a fine of R15 000 and a suspended sentence.Perhaps she herself offers an explanation of what went wrong: “Throughout the years of oppression, I think my feelings got blunted because you were so tortured that the pain reached a threshold where you could not feel pain anymore. If you keep pounding and pounding on the same spot the feeling dies, the nerves die,” she writes in 491 Days.Today, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela continues her political service to the ANC – she serves on the National Executive Committee – and she is a member of parliament.last_img read more

No service in outer space? No problem!

first_imgPlanetary Pursuit has officially launched and your journey through the Solar System has begun! In an attempt to relieve any turbulence throughout your expedition, Ground Control will be offering useful tips for smooth space sailing. Even though you may be roaming outer space, there’s no need to let your data roam while caching! Take your adventure offline to find caches anywhere the game takes you with Geocaching Premium. As a Premium member, you can save lists of geocaches for offline use so you’ll always be ready for the next adventure no matter where your cell service ends. Here’s how to download a list and access it offline in the Geocaching® app:1. Go to the My Lists section of the Geocaching® app.2. Tap the ellipsis (…) next to the list that you want to download.3. Select Download Offline Data.Offline maps are saved in the Trails map type. When you’re geocaching without an internet connection, switch to Trails to see your offline maps!Start planning your out-of-this-world geocaching adventures and earning up to 10 new souvenirs! Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedNew tools for your next trip into the great outdoors!January 17, 2017In “News”10 Useful Geocaching® app features you may not even know you haveMarch 23, 2017In “News”Six geocache outing planning mistakes you don’t know you are makingApril 30, 2019In “News”last_img read more

Apps To Make Your Great American Road Trip Even More Enjoyable

first_imgWaze (Free—iOS, Android) is a community-based navigation app that I also recommend. Waze incorporates GPS data and real-time information from its 50 million users to alert drivers about current road conditions. Use it and you won’t be surprised why Google spent a small fortune for it.FoodHappy Cow ($2.99 iOS, $2.49 Android) is a vegan-friendly restaurant guide. My son and I are strict vegetarians, so during our long drive …No, I’m just kidding. We plan to eat the greasiest, tastiest, most delicious local fare we can find, be it at a tavern, old-school drive-in, or some hidden regional gem tucked away that only the locals know about. We are relying on two apps to help with this culinary journey of discovery. A few I recommend include:Best Road Trip Ever ($0.99—iOS) includes location and details on “10,000 offbeat destinations.”History Here (Free—iOS, Android) has information on, that’s right, historical sites and landmarks throughout America.Roadside America ($2.99—iOS) will set you back a few dollars but, like Best Road Trip Ever, contains information on all those cool things—like a giant ball of twine—that may only be found in just one place.Sleep Tight Related Posts For both iPhone and Android, there are numerous apps to help you find just the right hotel for your needs with Hotels.com (Free—iOS, Android), or enable you to score a unique lodging experience using Airbnb (Free—iOS, Android). There are also Camp & RV ($9.99—iOS, Android) to help you find nearby campgrounds. If a bed and breakfast is what you prefer, InnTouch and others have you covered.Since we are driving a car across country over 10 days, we will most likely spend our nights in standard roadside hotels.Be Prepared And OrganizedI am not expecting any roadside emergencies; I doubt anyone ever does. But, the free RepairPal (Free—iOS, Android) app sold me with its blurb:  the “RepairPal app tells you the right price to pay for your repair, finds you a great mechanic in the area, tracks all your repairs, and gives you one-touch access to roadside assistance.” Seems wrong to not have this with me.I also have Weather Underground (Free—iOS, Android) to keep me posted on what the weather will be as we journey along.To track expenses, including fuel, food, snacks and lodging, I have purchased the Road Trip ($4.99—iOS app.  Eyes on the RoadWe are often told that people have their attention focused on their smartphone screen, missing what’s happening all around them. Perhaps. In this case, however, smartphones will make our trip more fun, possibly more memorable, and offer us an opportunity to visit unique spots and meet people we might otherwise never have met.I can’t wait for the trip to start.Image of highway courtesy of Wikimedia. Image of giant ball of twine courtesy of peachsmack, via Creative Commons license. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Android#iPhone#Pause#travel What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img brian s hall For check-ins, I am using Foursquare (Free—iOS, Android), linked to Facebook (Free—iOS, Android). For sharing pictures, I will post to Instagram (Free—iOS, Android), also linked to my Facebook account. I plan to create several short videos as well, using Vine (Free—iOS, Android). These will be posted to my Twitter feed. I will also use Soundcloud (Free—iOS, Android) to record and then share the various interesting, funny or just plain odd sounds I hear. Maybe it’s from an AM-radio preacher, a crowded diner or just the sound of frogs and crickets at night.The JourneyOf America’s many gifts to the world—and to the future—none are so perfect as baseball. As avid baseball fans, we are using the MiLB (Free—iOS) app to guide us to every Double-A and Triple-A game along our route. This is a must.If, inexplicably, baseball is not for you, there are numerous apps which will guide you to famous landmarks, national parks, local oddities, museums and more.  Food Network On the Road (Free—iOS, Android) includes all those spots from its shows such as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. I am hungry just thinking about this.Yelp (Free—iOS, Android) is always at my side, and never more useful than when I am traveling. In fact, Yelp has probably changed how I eat. It tells me what restaurants are nearby, lets me select by food type, includes extremely useful reviews on most of the establishments – many of which I would not otherwise even know about. This is a must-have for our road trip. Never again stop at a chain restaurant.Wish You Were HereAs I expect to have many grand thoughts while on the road, I have paid for the well-designed Voice Record Pro (Free—iOS) app to record my brilliance.Of course, we aren’t only going to document our trip in words, sounds and pictures for posterity. We plan to share our adventures in real-time with friends and family. Road Trip! That quintessential American adventure, experiencing the nation via automobile, is about to begin for many of us this summer, myself included.Readers may know I’m using my smartphone to help me find a new home. That new home is thousands of miles away. My teenage son and I have decided that we will make the move on wheels. My wife, his mother, insists this is crazy. Accordingly, she has booked a flight.Her loss. We aren’t driving the Interstates, either. That’s for truckers. Instead, we’re taking the historic U.S. Route 50: Jump on in Ohio, drive through the plains, into Dodge City, across the Continental Divide, over the Rockies and through the stretch known as the “loneliest road in America” before arriving (almost) in San Francisco.We intend to eat great local food, stop at unique spots along the way, take in the history, have fun, make it memorable and stay safe. To that end, apps will definitely help.I have an iPhone. He has an Android. We share a Kindle Fire. With those platforms in hand, these are the apps we are using to help make this little adventure that much more enjoyable.Dad Needs His Coffee The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Priorities. Before mile 1, I must know that coffee is always nearby. Find Me Coffee (Free—iOS, Android)is a free app that will, yes, help me find coffee whenever I need it. Which is always.Don’t Make Me Stop This CarLet’s face it, driving along an old American highway across the country, for all its sights and sounds, hour after hour, day after day, means we will almost certainly hit more than one achingly long dull patch. We will need ways to lessen our boredom while inside the car. I’m not naive. With the miracle of technology, we have hours of video, thousands of pages and more games than we will ever need, all inside our smartphone. I recommend these, in particular:Amazon Instant Video (Free—iOS, Android).On both the iPhone and Kindle Fire, we have downloaded several hours of our favorite television series and movies, at reasonable prices. Kindle (Free—iOS, Android) We have already downloaded several books. Hint: we share a single Kindle account on both the Kindle Fire and iPhone. Bonus hint: I scored a great deal on the entire series of original James Bond novels last month.Card Games (Free—iOS) The smartphone is the perfect gaming console and we both already have several games on our devices. However, I find that card games are a great way for me to keep boredom at bay while still keeping enough of my brain focused on my surroundings. This app includes several card games.On The RoadGetting lost can be fun. Not finding your way back, less so. To combat this, I have installed Google Maps (Free—iOS, Android) on my iPhone.Fact is, Google’s free mapping data is amazing, and the turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic data can be a godsend. One issue keeps popping up: I have yet to figure out to tell the app that I never want to venture off Highway 50—it insists I take the Interstate highways. last_img read more