A Burnham-On-Sea author who interviewed Winne Mandela – who has died this week – has recalled what a special person she was.

Winnie Mandela, wife of the late South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader Nelson Mendela passed away aged 81 on Monday.

She met Burnham-On-Sea author Michael Turner in 1990, as pictured above, while he was travelling in the country.

Michael told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “I met her at her home in Soweto, South Africa on 24 February 1990. I recorded a 12 minute interview with her that is clearly preserved on CD. She spoke about the support she gave to her husband.”

“Winnie Mandela was jovial and frequently laughing. She allowed me to interview her for my school classes since we used to teach about apartheid.”

“The interview lasted 12 minutes. Winnie was in no hurry. To learn more about the national situation, I had formulated questions by interviewing black and white people during a week of hitch-hiking along the Garden Route.”

“She gave me her vision for the future of South Africa. She agreed with my staged ideas of hand over of political power through a ratio allocation of seats.”

“She spoke about her marriage and years of separation of how she also lived in a big prison.”

“She listed the prisons in which Nelson had resided. The Mandela London concert was not screened in SA but she received video excepts on VHS from friends in England.”

“The support she gave to her husband. Winnie Mandela stated why and how Nelson was so eloquent. She said Nelson put the country before himself.”

“She gave her address for English children to write to her. Winnie Mandela was humorous, very confident, eloquent and enthusiastically cooperated. She showed me a congratulatory telegram from Mikhail Gorbachev.”

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