On the 4th of April 2018 HuffPost posted a video clip of an interview conducted with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in June 2017. The interview was arranged after the screening of the documentary "Winnie", which was also broadcast on Wednesday, the 11th of April 2018, on eNCA.
In the video clip Madikizela-Mandela makes references to journalists Thandeka Gqubule, Anton Harber and Nomavenda Mathiane. She says Gqubule wrote negative stories about her and that the Weekly Mail, which Harber edited in the 1980's, was "anti-me and anti-ANC". She then says the Weekly Mail "actually did the job for Stratcom".
The clip was part of a range of video clips repurposed from the old interview after Madikizela-Mandela died. We decided to remove it from our platforms because Gqubule,Mathiane and Harber's comments were not included.
Gqubule, Harber and Mathiane are journalists who have reputations for being honest and principled. We respect them both. The video clip should not have been published without first seeking their views.
We have begun internal procedures to determine how the clip was published and will be taking action based on our findings.
We apologise to Gqubule, Harber and Mathiane for our editorial oversight.
Sanef has noted the debate about the role of the media in peddling falsehoods and discrediting certain anti-apartheid activists.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
This debate has erupted as we mourn the death of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
In the course of the debate about her legacy and experience as a freedom fighter, some journalists have been accused of being spies, or rogue operators that tried to tarnish her name by publishing stories planted by the apartheid government.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
A video clip is circulating of the late struggle icon in which she mentions particular journalists saying they were "doing the work of" the Apartheid security establishment including STRATCOM.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela states that the work of these journalists contributed to her being undermined and vilified.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
SANEF fully acknowledges the brutality of the apartheid regime & its misinformation campaigns.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
Given this context of lies & propaganda it's critical that concrete evidence is brought forward to substantiate claims that specific journalists supported the apartheid state.
In the absence of any such evidence, the circulation of unsubstantiated rumours is irresponsible, dangerous and extremely damaging to media freedom and the media environment as a whole.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
Further, we believe it puts journalists at serious risk of physical harm and having their credibility unnecessarily questioned.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
Those who have concrete evidence of any such wrongdoing by journalists working in South Africa at the height of apartheid should come forward.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
That would help South Africa get to the bottom of this.
Sanef calls for cool heads, so that we can have a sober debate about ways to cherish Mama Winnie's legacy in building a truly democratic nation.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
That is a nation where conflicts and debates are handled in an open, democratic fashion, without the kind of smear campaigns that were prevalent during the apartheid era.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) April 13, 2018
This posted has been edited.