Winnie Mandela (L), wife of anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela, arrives at the town of Brandfort, 26 March 1986, where she has been banished for nine years.
JOHANNESBURG - The Winnie Mandela Museum project in Brandfort in the Free State remains in tatters.
Questions about the millions channelled to the project for over a decade have been met with denials and counter-accusations.
Five years ago, President Jacob Zuma announced in his State of the Nation address that Winnie Mandela's house in Brandfort would be rehabilitated.
It had been earmarked to become a museum since 2012.
Reports of funding for the project first surfaced seven years before Zuma’s announcement.
In subsequent years, various articles mentioned different sums allocated to the project.
Ace Magashule, who’s been premier of the Free State since mid-2009, was recently asked what's happened to the money.
“I don’t know of any money that has been spent on that project. In 2007, fortunately I was an MEC for Sports, and we budgeted for the project and we consulted with the family. And when things were not moving, that money was never spent. We never spent any money for the Winnie Mandela Museum in the Free State,” said Magashule.
But MK Malefane a former Aide to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who has been trying to get the museum off the ground since 2004, said, “He is lying.
"In 2006, we sat in this very same room together with uMama Winnie Mandela, himself Ace Magashule, his deputy Thabo Manyoni, and the mayors of various municipalities. With them was the young ANC comrade who had been awarded the tender.
“He said, I got the tender for the R1.6 million. I shared it amongst ourselves. With my money, part of it, I bought the Audi A6 that you see. I have done my part. It was a business deal. No hard feelings to Mama here. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me.”
Madikizela-Mandela’s foundation says it wants to be intricately involved if plans for a museum are revived.
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