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An open letter to Franca Arena

Dear comrade sister Franca

I am writing to offer you support and encouragement in your fearless campaign to expose corrupt pedophiles in the NSW parliament.

As a mother of children and of the Nation, I share your pain and struggle as you try to help the little ones of Australia who cannot speak for themselves. As a politician I also want to protect our children and our future. There are so many out there who would hurt and harm them, we must do all we can to protect them from those who prey on their innocence.

Like you, I have been ridiculed by the press and forced to testify before the courts. You are very brave and I salute you. Pedophiles are very dangerous and I have found it is very difficult to get the children to testify against them because they are so afraid.

I had a lot of trouble myself a few years ago when I was trying to expose child molesters in Soweto. They are everywhere -- even in the Church -- and our children are not safe. As a mother I could not sit back and let this go on.

We even had to kidnap some children to get them away from a Church minister who was brainwashing and abusing them. We took these children into our home to help, and shelter them.

I tried my best to get these youngsters to go to the police so that we could have this criminal locked up, but they were too terrified to talk to the police. They thought they would be hurt if they spoke against the man who was molesting them. You can imagine what sort of power he had over them.

Why would I want to hurt them? I tried my best to encourage them to talk about their experiences. Most psychologists agree it is best to talk in an open way. But I really got frustrated with this one boy who refused to cooperate. He was being ungrateful. I was feeding him, and clothing him, and even letting him relax in the spa. He refused to talk against the man we wanted him to.

The man was a very popular Methodist minister, he was also in a position where he was involved with a lot of children, he had a lot of community influence and was respected by all. I really needed this boy to talk against the minister -- he had far too much influence on our kids and was a threat to my position.

I told him it would be alright, as long as he did exactly what I said. I even told him what he should say to the police. But Stompie got all upset about the truth. That's when I hit him. I didn't mean to hit him so hard, but some of my gang were there too and we all got a bit carried away. Of course they had been drinking all night. You know what these football teams are like when it comes to a few beers after a game. They were too drunk to even kill him properly!

Of course, when I realised what we had done, I thought it best if we just quietly disposed of the body. After all there is so much killing around here, I was sure no one would notice.

If only I had your commonsense and named all the judges in Parliament first, then I wouldn't have this problem now with the courts. But we are still fairly new to democracy here and don't quite understand how it works yet.

Still, I do have a lot of popular support, so I don't think I will have to go to jail or anything. With a bit of luck I may even become Deputy President.

If I can give you any advice it is this. Do not leave politics. Providing you have enough popular support no one will touch you no matter what you do.

Your sister in the struggle

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Mother Of the Nation