MaSisulu combined political and parental guidance – ANC

2011-06-03 11:22

Albertina Sisulu combined political and parental guidance in her work against apartheid, the ANC said in a tribute to one of the party’s key members during the anti-apartheid struggle, who died yesterday.

“MaSisulu passed on yesterday night, 2nd June 2011, at the age of 92 after a fulfilling life as a people’s servant, coupled with her unwavering commitment and leadership to the liberation of our people,” the ANC said in a statement today.

“MaSisulu epitomised the struggles of the poor, the women and the disenfranchised.”

Not only had the family lost her, but the country had lost an irreplaceable leader.

“She embodied grace and humility,” the ANC said.

Sisulu was a founder member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Federation of South African Women.

She had emerged to fill the void when leaders such as former president Nelson Mandela and former ANC president Oliver Tambo, and her husband, former ANC president Walter Sisulu (who died in 2003), were exiled or imprisoned.

She had also guided young activists and leaders of organisations such as the Congress of SA Students, the SA Youth Congress, Azanian Students Organisation, and other civic and women’s organisations. “She did not only give political guidance, but she was also a mother figure to all activists,” the ANC said.

“To us she has left huge footprints that tracks our history of suffering, and resilience under immeasurable harassment and dehumanisation under apartheid.”

South Africans today enjoyed freedom and democracy because of her “selfless contribution”.

The ANC offered condolences to the family and said funeral arrangements would be announced when they had been finalised.

Earlier, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said: “We are devastated that an icon and veteran of the ANC has passed on.

When it was difficult to be loved by your own parents during the struggle, because they didn’t understand it, she was there to give us wonderful political guidance and motherly love.”

He said the ANC remained indebted to Sisulu and her leadership when the party was banned and its leaders imprisoned or in exile.

“We owe so much of the freedom we enjoy today to people like her. We owe democracy to the likes of Mama Sisulu. We will miss her.”

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