WINNIE MANDELA -
Apartheid, this word still sounds like an insult to the ear. Such a short time ago, it was a value in South Africa : the foundation of a white society convinced of its superiority. In those days, Nelson Mandela was a figure of resistance against Apartheid, the world’s oldest prisoner behind bars. So, I went to the South African consulate as an elephant hunter, which allowed me to get a three months visa to go there and witness daily demonstrations, gold mining strikes and long march organized in August 1985 to demand Mandela’s freedom.
I was then in contact with secret activists, who had warned Winnie Mandela of my arrival. After a warm welcome, I began to take some photographs.
Hardly an hour later, the sound of cars sharp blow brakes frozen us. Soldiers were already entering the dwelling, pointing their rifles at us. Everyone would have feared for his life; it was then that we saw the resistant lady begin to scream that this intrusion was illegal. She did not fear these intruders in uniform, and insulted them.
Galvanized by her courage, we then tried to resist with her, standing up to the officers and soldiers who wanted to intimidate us.
After several hours of interrogation, each in a separate room, we followed the scenario that we had imagined. We were only two tourists; me, elephant hunter, visiting the Sun City. Having squandered our currency from the trip to the Casino, and a friend from Paris having told us that anyone who could photograph and interview a lady we knew nothing about and who answered Winnie Mandela's name, would have enough money to continue the journey. We just tried our luck.
Being convinced of our innocence, we were then thrown out of the interrogation building.
We had moved away with a limping step. It was only a few hundred more meters that we had sighed with relief, taking out for me the dandruff I could hide in time in my underwear before being carried away by the military, and my friend his little tape recorder also hidden under his clothes.
Two weeks later, the story about the lady from South Africa appeared in the pages of the prestigious magazine called ‘’ELLE”.