Du Preez slams EFF statement on Stratcom “journalists”

Max du Preez
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Veteran journalist Max du Preez says the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has been reckless in its interpretation of a Huffington Post interview in which the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela accuses certain journalists of effectively doing the work of apartheid agents.

In the interview, Madikizela-Mandela names Thandeka Gqubule and Anton Harber as having reported negatively on her and on the African National Congress (ANC) and says they did the work of Stratcom.

Du Preez, who has worked with both journalists, says Madikizela-Mandela’s comments about how these journalists reported on her in the late 1980’s must not be taken out of context to fuel a witch hunt.

“I think she said it out of anger. I don’t think she suggested they worked for the police or were on the police payroll, because the two names that she mentioned are completely ridiculous. They have long, proud record of brave, brilliant journalism – but it gave rise to a mad frenzy on social media where people just named any journalist that they could think of, and said this person must be on the list, and I think the EFF was reckless to put those names also in a press statement.”

Earlier, The EFF threatened to reveal the names of the 40 journalists who were allegedly part of the Apartheid regime’s Strategic Communications (Stratcom).

In a documentary titled ‘Winnie’, broadcast on Wednesday, the director of Stratcom Vic McPherson reveals the details of a strategy which had struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as its primary target.

In the interview, Madikizela-Mandela mentions some of the journalists whom she says wrote negative stories about her.

“I mean there were reporters who specialised in writing very negative stories about me, like Thandi Gqubule and a girl who was called Nomavenda. I was pleasantly surprised to see Anton Harber talk like that, because he was editor of the then Weekly Mail and the Weekly Mail at the time… was so anti-ANC, anti-me. They actually did the job for Stratcom,” said Madikizela-Mandela.