Former President Zuma pays tribute to Mam' Winnie

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Former President Jacob Zuma has paid his respects to the family of the late liberation fighter, Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The former President visited the late Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Orlando, Soweto on Wednesday to offer his message of condolence following her passing on Monday.

“Of course we will all end up departing from this earth but it is always a painful experience. It is more felt when you take the type of comrade Winnie was, not just a mother to her children but a mother to the organisation, the ANC and a mother of the nation,” said the former President.

Zuma’s visit follows that of many senior officials from government, civil society and ordinary South Africans who flocked to Madikizela-Mandela’s home to offer their messages of support.

“I came this morning after hearing shocking news that our mother is no more. I couldn’t believe it, as she would go for check-ups and come back. This had become a regular thing so her passing was a big shock,” said the former President.

Former President Zuma said Mam’ Winnie’s journey in the fight for liberation inspired many people, including ordinary citizens to join in and bring down the apartheid regime.

“There are many who joined the struggle because they saw her fighting. She represented many of the mothers who had their husbands in prison and exile whose names are not known -- some of whom will never be known. She also encouraged them … to join in the fight. She gave this inspiration to everyone -- men and women,” he said.

According to the former President, Mam’ Winnie played an undeniable contribution and carved a niche for herself that saw her bestowed the title of Mother of the Nation.

“No one can doubt… that she indeed shortened the distance to our final day of liberation.  To us, it is a big loss of… a mother, a comrade and leader who has seen it all.

“She was recognised not just within the ANC but by the country and the world - not just because she was the wife of our leader Nelson Mandela but because in her own name and right, she made a contribution to our struggle,” said the former President.

He thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa for his declaration of a Special Official Funeral for Mam’ Winnie, adding that it symbolises great respect to the late heroine.  

“I appreciate that the President has given her the kind of funeral she deserves. This is a national hero and that is how we should say goodbye to her. I am thankful to the President that he has done so,” said former President Zuma. –

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