Winnie Mandela Ordered to Sell Possessions to Pay Debt

by Evette Dionne

winnie-mandela111Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been ordered to auction off prized possession to cover a debt owed to a private school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The magistrate is forcing Mandela, a member of South Africa’s parliament, to sell paintings, sculptures and a silver tea set to settle her $4,300 tab.

The household goods also include a dining table set and a “room with books.” A relative of Madikizela-Mandela was attending Abbotts College, an institution that operates several high schools throughout South Africa. The anti-apartheid advocate was ordered to reimburse Abbotts College $2,150 in 2011, but she defaulted on the repayment.

Madikizela-Mandela earns $98,000 from her parliament position and also receives income from the African National Congress where she serves on the national executive committee.

The auction is scheduled to happen Tuesday at Madikizela-Mandela’s South African dwelling.

The polarizing, but treasured icon is the ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela. The couple wed in 1958 and remained married during Nelson’s 27-year incarceration. Nelson and Winnie divorced in 1997 during the former’s tenure as South Africa’s first black president.

The Associated Press reports Madikizela-Mandela was revered until her behavior became intolerable and erratic in the 1980s. She and the assembly designed to protect her, the Mandela United Football Club, were accused of killing 18 people when the former South African dictators intensified pressure on the African National Congress.

Madikizela-Mandela was convicted of several charges including kidnapping in 1991, but appealed the six-year sentence. She was freed and ordered to pay $3,200.

Controversy has swirled the leader in years since with the most recent accusation lodged in March. Forensic scientists’ unearthed two skeletons believed to be two activists last seen at Mandikizela-Mandela’s residence 24 years ago. Authorities haven’t filed charges.

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