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Truth, Lies and Alibis: A Winnie Mandela Story – Fred Bridgland

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Truth, Lies and Alibis: A Winnie Mandela Story – Fred Bridgland

Fred Bridgland discusses his book 'Truth, Lies and Alibis - A Winnie Mandela Story' (Camera & editing: Darlene Creamer)

5th November 2018


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On New Year’s Eve in 1988, 14-year-old Stompie Seipei Moeketsi was beaten to within an inch of his life. He was stabbed and dumped in the veld on the outskirts of Soweto, and when he was identified six weeks later the trail led to Winnie Mandela and the feared Mandela United Football Club.

With the world’s eyes turned to South Africa and its hard-won transition story, an uncomfortable story of Winnie Mandela emerged as her trial, appeal and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission became entangled in a web of secrecy and lies, racial tension and political expediency.


Was she above the law? How did Nelson Mandela try to protect her? What does it mean for politicians’ respect for the rule of law in the democratic era? This exploration of the Mandela United Football Club’s reign of terror throws up questions about the nature of justice and accountability – and how these differ for the ‘important’ and ‘unimportant’ people of this world.   

Veteran correspondent Fred Bridgland, who covered South Africa for UK newspapers at the time, reinvestigates and delivers explosive new information.



Award-winning foreign correspondent Fred Bridgland began his career reporting in India, Pakistan and the Middle East for Reuters. He was posted to Zambia in 1975 as the agency’s Central Africa correspondent, spending long periods in Angola as it descended into post-colonial civil war. In an international scoop he discovered and revealed exclusively South Africa’s covert 1975-76 invasion of Angola, at the behest of Western powers. He was also the Brussels-based Europe correspondent for The Scotsman and later that newspaper’s London-based diplomatic correspondent. He joined the Sunday Telegraph of London in 1989 as its southern Africa correspondent. Bridgland is a graduate of Scotland’s St Andrews University. He lives in Edinburgh. 

Truth, Lies and Alibis is published by NB Publishers


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