President mourns the passing of Ma Agnes Msimang

Friday, October 19, 2018

South Africa is poorer after the passing away of Ma Agnes Msimang, a heroine of the South African struggle.

Msimang passed away at age 89 at a Johannesburg hospital on Thursday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also described Ma Aggie, as she was fondly known, as "a true servant of the people”.

“She was a committed and loyal member of the ANC and was a surrogate mother to many activists both inside the country and in exile during apartheid,” the President said.

Ma Aggie was a committed gender activist and former Deputy President of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL). She was among the countless women who mobilised their communities across South Africa against the apartheid system.

Following the demise of apartheid, Msimang joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs and served as deputy chief representative to India.

During her term she started the Africa Club, which helped South African youth learn their culture. She also trained Indian school children about South Africa’s struggle for liberation, including the singing of the national anthem, Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika.

In 2014 she received the National Order of Luthuli in Silver in 2014 for her contribution to the fight against the unjust laws of apartheid and for her selfless service to the cause of South Africa's liberation.

She was also the recipient of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s (DIRCO) highest accolade the OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Ubuntu Award.

The President said Ma Aggie will be remembered for the multiple roles she assumed in her community and within the organisation to which she remained loyal throughout her life.

“She loved young people and was always concerned for their welfare. She was instrumental in nurturing the Masupatsela, the ANC Youth Brigade. Mama Agnes Msimang never wavered in her dedication to the struggle and to nurturing new generations of activists and fighters who helped our nation to secure its freedom.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and comrades of our heroine at this difficult time. Lala Ngoxolo Mama," President Ramaphosa said.

Condolences for family, friends of Moses Chikane

President Ramaphosa has also expressed sadness and his heartfelt condolences to the family of the late liberation struggle stalwart and retired diplomat Moses “Moss” Chikane.

Chikane passed away on Wednesday following an illness. He was 69.

He was a former leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF), serving as the organisation’s Transvaal Secretary.

As one-third of what was known as the UDF Three, with Mosioua Lekota and Popo Molefe, he was prosecuted by the apartheid government in the Delmas Treason Trial, convicted of treason and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Robben Island.  

Chikane was also the national coordinator of the ANC team responsible for facilitating the return of ANC members from exile in the early 1990s. In 2005 he served as South Africa’s Ambassador to Germany and to Zambia five years later.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the entire Chikane family, the African National Congress and society at large.

“Moss Chikane made a significant contribution to our struggle and served the people of South Africa through the Liberation Movement. We owe him and his generation an immeasurable debt of gratitude and appreciation. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Ramaphosa. –