Tributes pour in for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was an iconic symbol against apartheid, especially when the African National Congress (ANC) and other liberation organisations were almost crushed, says the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

“Her militancy, courage and defiance kept the struggle against apartheid alive. In particular, she came to represent the struggle of black women against a system that saw them bearing the burden of a repressive regime,” Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Chairperson, Derek Hanekom said.

Madikizela-Mandela passed away on Monday at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg at the age of 81 after a long illness.

“She inspired not only activists of her own generation, but those that succeeded her as well. Like with other iconic figures who contributed to our liberation struggle, the totality of her history and legacy will have to be reflected upon over time,” Hanekom said.

In honour of her contribution to the struggle against racial and gender oppression, the Free State provincial government will this year erect a statue in honour of her.

“Amongst all her contributions to humanity, we will remember Mama Winnie as an astute gender and youth activist. She was dedicated to the struggle for women emancipation as she was dedicated to the struggle for freedom and democracy for all South Africans,” Free State Premier Sefora Ntombela said.

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni said Madikizela-Mandela was a fearless woman who fought tirelessly against the brutality of the apartheid regime. She remained the face of the struggle when leaders were jailed, others exiled and organisations banned.

“She remained one of the candles that refused to be blown out during the difficult times in our country. We must draw lessons from her struggles,” Premier Mtshweni said.

She expressed her condolences to the family, friends and relatives of the Madikizela-Mandela.

Premier Mtshweni said the death of Madikizela-Mandela was a great loss to the nation as she was an inspiration to all South Africans, especially women and the youth.

“She fought for the poor and marginalised and was not afraid to speak her mind,” Premier Mtshweni said. –

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