Nelson Mandela has been accused by his former wife of betraying South Africa’s black population.
In a savage attack, Winnie Mandela said he had done nothing for the poor and should not have accepted the Nobel peace prize with the man who jailed him, FW de Klerk.
The 73-year-old said her ex-husband had become a ‘corporate foundation’ who was ‘wheeled out’ only to raise money for the ANC party he once led.
She said Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a cretin and claimed the sacrifices of Steve Biko and others in the fight against apartheid were being overlooked.
The comments were made in an interview yesterday with Nadira Naipaul, the wife of novelist V S Naipaul.
Mrs Mandela became notorious in 1991 when she was jailed for six years for the kidnap of Stompie Moeketsi–a sentence later cut to a fine.
Stompie, 14, had been murdered three years earlier by members of Mrs Mandela’s bodyguard, the Mandela United Football Club.
She also caused outrage by endorsing the punishment of apartheid collaborators with ‘ necklacing’–putting burning tyres around their necks.
Yesterday she said: ‘This name Mandela is an albatross around the necks of my family.
‘You all must realise that Mandela was not the only man who suffered. There were many others, hundreds who languished in prison and died.
‘Mandela did go to prison and he went in there as a young revolutionary but look what came out.
‘Mandela let us down. He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks. Economically we are still on the outside. The economy is very much “white”.
‘I cannot forgive him for going to receive the Nobel with his jailer de Klerk. Hand in hand they went. Do you think de Klerk released him from the goodness of his heart?
‘He had to. The times dictated it, the world had changed.’
The Mandelas, who divorced in 1996, were married for 38 years–although together for only five.
Mrs Mandela criticised her country’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee–which she appeared before in 1997 and which implicated her in gross violations of human rights.
She said: ‘What good does the truth do? How does it help to anyone to know where and how their loved ones are killed or buried?
‘That Bishop Tutu who turned it all into a religious circus came here. He had a cheek to tell me to appear.
‘I told him that he and his other like-minded cretins were only sitting there because of our struggle and me. Look what they make him do. The great Mandela. He has no control or say any more.
‘They put that huge statue of him right in the middle of the most affluent white area of Johannesburg. Not here [in Soweto] where we spilled our blood.
‘Mandela is now like a corporate foundation. He is wheeled out globally to collect the money.’
She said her daughters, Zenani, 51, and Zindzi, 50, had to struggle through red tape to speak to their 91-year-old father, who led South Africa from 1994 to 1999.