Mandela's ex-wife threatens to sue makers of biographical film

Posted By: Staff
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London, Jan. 27 (ANI): The controversial ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela has threatened to sue the makers of a biographical film about her.

Starring Jennifer Hudson, the film is said to portray the fraud, kidnapping and murder controversies that have surrounded Winnie Mandela, 73.

Lawyers for Madikizela-Mandela, as she has been known since her divorce from Mandela in 1996, have warned the producers of the film, titled Winnie, The Telegraph reports.

"It is difficult to understand how a production bearing the name of an individual who has not been consulted at all could ever be appropriate or tell the full story of that individual life," a letter from Bowman Gilfillan, a leading South African law firm, said.

"This is certainly the case here where our client has not responded to allegations and comment which have been made about her, precisely because she has sought to protect her sphere of personal privacy as best she can in extremely difficult and turbulent times," it added.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the producers' spokesman Dezi Rorich said they had met Madikizela-Mandela's lawyers, but were "unable to reach an understanding with them", and made clear they would not back down.

Madikizela-Mandela is revered in some quarters as the "Mother of the Nation" for the harassment she suffered from the white authorities. She is also reviled in other sections.

She once notoriously declared that "with our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country", referring to the preferred way of killing suspected informers in the townships, setting fire to a petrol-filled tyre around their necks.

Under apartheid, she was convicted of kidnapping Stompie Moeketsi, 14, who was later found beaten to death in Soweto. In 2003, she was convicted of more than 40 charges of fraud but her prison sentence was replaced with a suspended term on appeal.

In 2007, she topped the poll for the ruling African National Congress' national executive committee, prompting speculation that she would be given a cabinet post in Jacob Zuma's government. (ANI)

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