Tribute to Winnie Madikizela Mandela

AU, UN mourn Madikizela-Mandela  

The African Union has paid its respects to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. In a statement on its website, African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said he learnt with “great shock and profound sadness of the death of Madikizela-Mandela”. The AU chief described her as a “fearless campaigner who sacrificed much of her life for freedom in South Africa”. The struggle icon died on Monday at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. “She never relented in her struggle or wavered in her commitment, despite imprisonment, banishment, and decades-long seperation from her then husband Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment,” Mahamat said. “Winnie Madikazela-Mandela paved the way for women in the struggle to end apartheid, and fought relentlessly for their rights and welfare in her country.”

Zim Parliament to honour Madikizela-Mandela  

MDC proportional representation legislator Priscilla Musiharabwi-Mushonga has said the Women and Youth Committee in Parliament will host a memorial service for the late South African politician, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (pictured), whom she said was a role model in politics and civil society through her unwavering fight for human rights in Africa.Madikizela-Mandela (81), who was known as “Mother of the Nation” in South Africa, died after a long illness, which had seen her in and out of hospital since the beginning of the year. In an interview, Musiharabwi-Mushonga said the Women and Youth Committee in Parliament, together with the Women’s Coalition, were in the process of preparing a memorial service for the late Madikizela-Mandela, who was affectionately known just as Winnie. “We are in the process of organising a memorial service for our icon Winnie Mandela here in Zimbabwe, it is undisputable that she deserves it,” she said. “There is no way we can just forget about Winnie because she is an icon to many female politicians and feminists in Africa and it is for that reason that we should do something for her and recognise her efforts.” “Just like her husband, Nelson Mandela was given international recognition, Winnie deserves recognition from all us as women because she fought a good fight as a female politician in South Africa, outside her marriage life.”

Winnie Mandela had lived a life of sacrifice for her people  

IT was with deep sadness that I learnt of the passing of Ms Winnie Mandela on Monday, April 2, 2018. As is well known, she was the wife of Nelson Mandela, the iconic leader and first democratically elected President of South Africa. Winnie Mandela had lived a life of sacrifice for her people. While the ANC was banned and most of its leaders were in prison or exile, Ms Mandela was the main person that gave leadership on the ground inside South Africa. She never left the country during that time. She became a symbol of resistance and she gave hope to the non-white population of South Africa that freedom was possible and would be won by struggle. She faced persecution, imprisonment, displacement and even jail. However, she never lost faith in the strength and wisdom of the Black majority. She was always certain that they would defeat the racist, apartheid regime, even when things looked hopeless. The enemies of the people tried to demonise her. In so doing, they forgot the context and conditions with which she had to contend. Most of those who tried to besmirch her character were supporters and agents of the apartheid regime. Winnie Mandela was however loved and adored by the oppressed masses of the South African people. She lived a heroic, even if controversial life. She will always be remembered for her heroic defiance of the apartheid regime and her fierce loyalty to the people of South Africa.

South African president mourns passing of anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Madikizela-Mandela  

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday mourned the death of anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, calling her “an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free.” “It is with a profound sense of loss and deep sadness that we have learnt of the passing away of Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela,” Ramaphosa said. Winnie, former President Nelson Mandela’s wife, died in Johannesburg Monday afternoon after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year, her family announced. “Today we have lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a comrade, a leader and an icon,” Ramaphosa said. Even at the darkest moments of the struggle for liberation, Winnie was “an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free,” Ramaphosa said. In the midst of repression, she was a voice of defiance and resistance, said Ramaphosa. Ramaphosa also called Winnie “a champion of justice and equality” in the face of exploitation. “Throughout her life she made an everlasting contribution to the struggle through sacrifice and her unyielding determination. "Her dedication to the plight of her people gained her the love and the respect of the nation,” Ramaphosa said. For many years, Winnie bore the brunt of the senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism and fortitude, the president said.

Jamaica PM Says Winnie Mandela Was Champion of Freedom  

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has hailed the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a champion of freedom. The anti-apartheid freedom campaigner died yesterday in her homeland, South Africa, after a long illness. She was 81 years old. Holness said Winnie Mandela’s death brings into focus the significant struggle of black people throughout the world against racism and in particular apartheid in South Africa. “Winnie Mandela was a symbol of the black struggle against oppression and injustice. We here in Jamaica supported her in that struggle as she maintained the legacy of her then husband Nelson Mandela while he was locked away for 27 years,” the Prime Minister said. He noted the tremendous impact both Winnie and her late former husband, Nelson Mandela had on him and throughout the world. “As a young man, the Mandelas were inspirations to me and many of my peers. We were cognizant of the evolution of the struggle that culminated in the release of Nelson Mandela and majority black rule. We still strongly remember their visit to Jamaica in 1991 as I know do many Jamaicans today,” he said. Read more:

Graça Machel lauds Winnie's 'extraordinary life', mourns her passing  

Nelson Mandela's widow, Graça Machel, says she is struggling to deal with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's death. In an open letter, Machel refers to Madikizela-Mandela as her 'big sister'. Machel celebrated Madikizela-Mandela's commitment to the country and, noting that Madikizela-Mandela provided hope during dark times, said she took solace in the fact that the struggle icon had "risen to become one of the brightest stars in the sky". Machel thanked Madikizela-Mandela for her "brilliant wisdom, fierce defiance, and stylish beauty." Read the entire open letter from Graça Machel below.

Winnie was a leader in her own right: ANC Veterans League  

The late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a leader in her own right, the ANC Veterans League said on Wednesday. The "mother of the nation" died on Monday. The Veterans League has joined thousands of people paying tribute to the struggle stalwart. "She was a leader in her own right. She was not in the struggle because she was married to Nelson Mandela, but was a committed and dedicated member of the ANC. She was a pillar of our struggle for liberation in the struggle against the most atrocious apartheid regime," said Veterans League president Snuki Zikalala. He also remembered the first time he met Madikizela-Mandela. “I was introduced to the ANC, when I was very young, angry and militant, by Winnie Mandela, and worked with her when it was not fashionable to be associated with our glorious movement. I remember vividly when I met her in 1966 in downtown Johannesburg where she was working as a secretary. "We spoke quietly in hushed tones on how evil and atrocious the apartheid system was, a system which denied millions of South Africans their birthright. The topic then focused on the hated Bantu education system designed for black South Africans, the appalling and segregated living conditions, how workers’ rights were trampled upon on a daily basis, and the daily harassment and torture of those who dared raise their voices in defiance of the obnoxious system where blacks were made hewers of wood and drawers of waters," Zikalala said.

Mbeki praises Mam Winnie for sacrifice against apartheid  

Thabo Mbeki says there were many other women who were in the struggle. Former president, Thabo Mbeki says the life of the struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela Mandela must be celebrated together with the collective of women that fought alongside her during the apartheid era. The 81-year-old Mam Winnie died in Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday afternoon. The mother of the nation as she was affectionately known released a book in 2013 about the struggles she and others had endured when fighting for the country’s democracy. Mbeki says: “When you talk about people who engaged in struggle and ready to sacrifice, sure she is part of that.” “But I think we need to put her in that collective because in celebrating her I think we need to talk in those terms and not to individualise the struggle but to say she is part of this collective and out of this collective of which she was an important part what lessons who we draw as the country.” “People in struggle during the same years that Winnie was in struggle, there were many other women who were in struggle during the same years who might not have gotten as much exposure as she did,” says Mbeki.

Bishop Paul Verryn on how his and Madikizela-Mandela's lives were 'intricately intertwined'  

The life and character of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who fought in a decades-long struggle against apartheid, can be described as both fierce and complex. Having endured more than a year of solitary confinement and banishment to Brandfort in the Free State, Madikizela-Mandela was a defiant and fierce opponent of the apartheid government. She was later implicated in the disappearance of Stompie Moeketsi Seipei and other anti-apartheid activists who had sought shelter at Bishop Paul Verryn's parish in Soweto. Jerry Richardson, a coach at the Mandela United Football Club, was jailed for the murder of Stompie, whose body was found days later on a waste ground near Madikizela-Mandela's house with his throat slit. Richardson died in prison in 2009.

Winnie: revolutionary who kept the spirit of resistance alive  

No other woman – in life and after – occupies the place that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela does in South African politics. A stalwart of the African National Congress (ANC), she nevertheless stands above, and at times outside, the party. Her iconic status transcends political parties and geographical boundaries, generations and genders. Poets have honoured her, writers have immortalised her and photographers have adored her. Her life has been overburdened by tragedies and dramas, and by the expectations of a world hungry for godlike heroes on whom to pin all its dreams, and one-dimensional villains on whom to pour its rage. Yet perhaps it is in the smaller and more intimate stories of our stumbling to make a better world that we are best able to recognise and appreciate the meaning of the life of Madikizela-Mandela. In her particular life, we may see more clearly the violence wrought by colonialism and apartheid, the profound consequences of fraternal political movements to whom women were primarily ornamental and, yes, the tragic mistakes made in the crucible of civil war. Her political power stemmed from the visceral connection that she was able to make between the everyday lives of black people in a racist state, and her own individual life. State power, in all its vicious dimensions, was exaggerated in its response to her indomitable will – and in its stark visibility, personified. Fearless in the face of torture, imprisonment, banishment and betrayal, she stood firm in her conviction that apartheid could be brought down. She said what she liked, and bore the consequences. Her very life was a form of bearing witness to the brutality of the system.

Activist Sophia de Bruyn speaks of her last moments with Winnie  

Fellow anti-apartheid activist and friend of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Sophia de Bruyn had spent some time with the struggle icon when she was hospitalised last month. "Mam' Winnie was in her element as she reminisced on the bygone struggle days – when the guiding principles were loyalty and service to our people, especially the downtrodden ones," said De Bruyn. "She was in high spirits and was talking passionately. I could feel her spirit touching me and both our emotions knew no bounds." De Bruyn praised Madikizela-Mandela for her bravery.

Mama Winnie‚ like Princess Diana‚ did not need a formal role: Tokyo Sexwale  

Former Gauteng premier Tokyo Sexwale says the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela may not have been destined to be president of the country and the ANC‚ but she was a leader in the hearts of the people of South Africa. Speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto on Tuesday‚ Sexwale said Mama Winnie had earned a special place in the hearts of the people for the way she fought against apartheid. When asked whether it was missed opportunity for the ANC not to have made her president‚ Sexwale answered: “There will always be an argument about what positions of presidents and prime ministers mean. I don’t think Winnie was destined to be occupying a position such as that of being president. But she was president in the hearts of the people. [Princess] Diana was never destined to be a queen of England but she was a queen in the hearts of British people. So it is with Winnie. She was destined not for a position. Here I am‚ I don’t have to serve my people from position of president‚ governor or minister‚ as long as I serve my people. I am happy to remain a leader in their hearts instead of a position.”

AbaThembu 'disappointed' Winnie to be buried in Soweto  

The AbaThembu nation says it’s disappointed that it was not consulted about burial plans for struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. A spokesperson for King Azenathi Dalindyebo said on Tuesday they would respect the family’s decision, asking only that the "Mother of the Nation" is buried with all the respect and dignity she deserves. Chief Zwelenqaba Mgudlwa said: "“According to our tradition it has been our wish that umama uNobandla will be laid next to her husband. But it has been beyond our authority as the AbaThembu kingdom. Her children as well as the whole family have decided to bury uMama Winnie in Soweto.”

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