Monday, May 31, 2010

'Madiba confessed to immoral life'

31 May 2010, 07:10
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'Give 67 Mandela minutes'

By Mercury reporter

South Africans may have come to terms with President Jacob Zuma's infidelity, but a new book to be released next month about Nelson Mandela, claims the country's first democratic president was no saint either.

Titled The Young Mandela, the book by David James Smith - an extract of which appeared in the London Sunday Times yesterday - shows another side of the former president, including allegations of womanising, wife-beating and at least one love child.

Smith writes that Mandela's memoir was smuggled out of jail and contained a reference to the break-up of his marriage to Evelyn.

In a note to Mac Maharaj, he instructed his comrade to include reference to: "And then I led a thoroughly immoral life." But when the Long Walk to Freedom was finally published, the comment was omitted.

Smith refers to a list of women who Mandela reportedly had affairs with, while married to Evelyn, including Ruth Mompati, Lilian Ngoyi and Dolly Rathebe.

Smith says that while Mompati denied it, people close to Mandela were confident that she also had a child by him.

"The story is known within Mandela's family and there are suspicions there could be other half-siblings. There are rumours of a woman who appeared at the funeral of his and Evelyn's second son, Makgatho, who died of Aids in 2005, claiming to be his half-sister from an unknown mother."

Smith also quotes from Evelyn's comments to, among others, Fatima Meer and author Fred Bridgland, and refers to two files that comprise the record of the couple's divorce.

They contain a statement by Evelyn in support of a petition for separation that she lodged in May 1956 in which she alleged that Mandela had assaulted her on a succession of occasions. Mandela denied the allegations.

The couple were divorced in 1958.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Mercury on May 31, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

All the skeletons are still hanging........

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