On this day in history: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was banished to Brandfort

On 15 May 1977, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was banished to the dusty Afrikaans town of Brandfort in the Free State.

Winnie was the former wife of the late ANC leader and South Africa’s first democratically elected President, Nelson Mandela. Her banishment order was set on condition that she either leaves South Africa for Swaziland or The Transkei. The Transkei was regarded as independent by the South African government at the time. She chose to stay in the country and fight for liberation and was unceremoniously dumped at house 802 with her youngest daughter, Zinzi.

There was no running water, no electricity, and the house had no floors or ceilings. The town was hostile, and the people spoke mainly Sesotho, Setswana or Afrikaans, and hardly any isiXhosa, which was Winnie’s home language.

The controversial historical figure took a provocative stance spending hours in white shops empowering the shop-keepers with political ideologies.

Her life in Brandfort was lonely. Zinzi was sent away to study, whilst her eldest daughter married a Swazi Prince and moved to America. 

Source: SA History

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button