Memorial service for "Mother of Azania"

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Struggle activist Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe will be remembered today at the official memorial service to be held at her hometown of Graaff Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

Hundreds are expected to flock in large numbers to the Robert Sobukwe town hall to reflect on the life and times of Mama Sobukwe who is affectionately known as the “Mother of Azania”.

She passed away at the age of 91 last week.

In her youth, Mama Sobukwe participated and led protest marches against racist conditions imposed on trainee Black nurses at Victoria hospital eDikeni (Alice).

Her leadership of this protest march resulted in her later meeting with Robert Sobukwe, then President of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Fort Hare who later formed the Pan Africanist Congress.

After she qualified as a nurse, she went to work in Durban, first in Springfield Hospital and later at McCord Hospital. From here she was further stationed at Ladysmith, working as a nurse. On the other hand Robert Sobukwe, after completing his studies at Fort Hare, proceeded to teach at Standerton.

The two relocated to Johannesburg when he was offered a post as a lecturer in African Studies at Wits University.

Independent of her husband, Mama Sobukwe challenged the injustices against the large population of South Africans.

She was awarded the Order of Luthuli in Silver in April this year for her tenacious call for freedom of the people and steadfast support of incarcerated freedom fighters.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 2 for her. 

A Special Official Funeral Category 2 is reserved for distinguished persons specifically designated by the President of South Africa on request by the Premier of a province. –