Johnny Masilela, The BEAT editor. Photo: TK Mashaba

Mama Winnie narrative would play out ahead of general elections


Johnny Masilela   l   Views: 107

Predictably, news headlines were in recent weeks dominated by the Winifred Madikizela-Mandela narrative.

We at The BEAT had our own field day, at one stage leading with a faded picture of Mama Winnie during a protest march in Bela-Bela.

The following week we ran with the headline “Doek revolution”, alongside some stunning pictures of headgear patterns.

May her soul rest in peace. But will it?

Already Julius Malema was in his element at the funeral, accusing some in the higher echelons of the ANC of having allegedly rejected the Mother of the Nation.

In my opinion, while Malema somewhat succeeded in stealing the thunder from the funeral proceedings, his diabolic speech was easily outsmarted by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s calm analysis of the national psyche.

Many other revelations continued to hit the headlines during the course of the week, among these a hurried news conference by former Safety and Security Minister, Sidney Mufamadi to clear his name regarding allegation of the vilifying of Madikizela-Mandela, within the very ranks of the so-called mass democratic movement.

Other blood-curling allegations suggested the Madikizela-Mandela daughters initially did not want the ANC on the funeral programme.

No wonder young-lion-in-chief Collen Maine was nowhere near the programme? 

It is becoming increasingly clear that the narrative around Madikizela-Mandela is set to continue into the fiercely contested general elections next year.

Locally, ANC comrades are already pointing fingers at each other, as to who was qualified to speak ahead of Madikizela-Mandela’s burial.

Let me make this very clear to the local ANC, DA or EFF; over my dead body shall this newspaper be used as a platform for politicians to attack each other.

If Henrietta Ledwaba or Zakes Moeletsi does not qualify to speak on any matter, it is simply not in the competence of our newsroom.

To be clearer; ANC contestations should be sorted out inside of the ranks of the ANC, and not through the pages of The BEAT. Period.

We are a proud lot here in that over the past few months our teamwork of reporters and the broader editorial value chain, succeeded in consistently producing top-class newspapers, highly popular with an increasing audience of readers.

We continue to do all this to meet the high standards of our readership, and not to offer individuals the platform to mischievously advertise their agendas free of charge.

Advertising space in a good-quality newspaper does not come free, it must be paid for.

Having said that, Ledwaba extended an invitation to The BEAT for a photo opportunity at 4.30 am Saturday 14 April, ahead of the departure of members of her Sihlangu Makhubela branch to the Madikizela-Mandela burial.

Camera at the ready, on arrival at the Bela-Bela Community Hall at around 4.30 am, TK Mashaba found not a single soul at the place.

Lord have mercy!

16 months ago       19 April 2018