Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Rebecca Davis Reviews 491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69 by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69Verdict: carrot

Just over a month ago, after the launch of her prison memoir 491 Days in Durban, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela gave an interview to the city’s Daily News. Talking about the increasing frequency of Marikana-type protests, she said: “God help us if one day the masses of this country rise against the state”.

From a woman who devoted the lion’s share of her life to struggling against the state, it’s quite a telling statement. There’s an implicit divide between “us” and “the masses” in it, and Winnie, perhaps disconcertingly, can no longer situate herself among “the masses” in good faith. It’s a seeming acknowledgement that new elites replaced old elites in the political system, and Winnie, for all her radicalism, is now one of them.

Book Details


Please register or log in to comment