Letter to lover spells trouble for Winnie

WINNIE MANDELA'S persistent denial of accusations that she misappropriated African National Congress funds and had an affair with a young lawyer were contradicted yesterday by publication in the South African press of a letter she wrote to her lover.

The letter, dated 17 March and signed 'It's me', reveals how Mrs Mandela's relationship with Dali Mpofu - who at 30 is about half her age - helped wreck her marriage to Nelson Mandela. It discloses that at one point Mr Mandela, whom she calls by his family nickname 'Tata', refused to speak to her for five months because of the affair. The letter was authenticated using a copy of her handwriting.

Mrs Mandela lays bare her obsession with Mr Mpofu, who was part of her defence team during her trial for the kidnap and assault of a child activist and who later worked in the ANC's social-welfare department, which she headed.

Mrs Mandela refers to the mother of his child as a 'white hag' and accuses him of betraying her (Mrs Mandela) by 'running around fucking at the slightest emotional excuse'.

'The only time you have time to talk to me is about women ofeba nabo (a Xhosa term meaning 'women you are having sex with'), as you are doing right now. You are supposed to care so much for me that the fact that I haven't been speaking to Tata for five months now over you is no longer your concern.

'I keep telling you the situation is deteriorating at home, you are not bothered because you are satisfying yourself every night with a woman,' the letter said, adding: 'I won't be your bloody fool, Dali'.

Less than a month later, Mr Mandela announced his separation from his wife.

But it is likely to be a later section of the letter that Mrs Mandela will have most cause to regret. She admits giving 160,000 rand (about pounds 30,000) to Mr Mpofu, and talks of her fear of an investigation into the accounts of the social welfare department of the ANC.

'You think you can just wish away certain things Dali, not with me. I tell you I'm in trouble with the Simmonds Street a/c which reflects over R160,000 drawn over a period for you. You don't even bother to check how we can overcome this. I tell you (ANC lawyer Ismael) Ayob has been sent by Tata to get an accountant to investigate my a/c. I tell you Ntombi (a woman in the ANC welfare department) is gossiping about the cheques we used to ask her to cash in the name of the Dept and how I gave you all that money,' the letter says.

Two months later the ANC said it was investigating alleged fraud involving 400,000 rand while Mrs Mandela and Mr Mpofu were running the department. In May, Mr Mpofu was sacked by the ANC after Mrs Mandela resigned from the welfare department. He is suing for wrongful dismissal.

The newspapers which published the letter - the Sunday Star and the Sunday Times - said both people declined opportunities to comment.

Yesterday, telephone calls to Mrs Mandela's Soweto home were not answered, and Mr Mpofu's home number was not listed.

The ANC's information chief, Pallo Jordan, declined to comment on the letter other than to suggest it had been intercepted and leaked by government intelligence officials. However, there is no shortage of candidates within the ANC if the organisation wants to consider Mrs Mandela's other enemies.

The Zulu leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, called on Inkatha's youth wing to 'stop the ANC in its tracks' after the murder of 10 Inkatha supporters on Friday. Chief Buthelezi said the ANC was obsessed with seizing power. He subsequently denied that he was advocating violence.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant - Global Leader - FTSE 250

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Representative

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family run school photogra...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - OTE £42,000

£28000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining a leading s...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant -Engineering -Renewable Energy

£18000 - £23000 per annum + competitive: SThree: As an Associate Recruitment C...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map