ANC mourns Albertina Sisulu

2011-06-03 08:40
Albertina Sisulu is seen celebrating her birthday in a 2008 file photo. The anti-apartheid icon has died at the age of 92. (Themba Hadebe. AP)

Albertina Sisulu is seen celebrating her birthday in a 2008 file photo. The anti-apartheid icon has died at the age of 92. (Themba Hadebe. AP)

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Johannesburg - The death of struggle veteran Albertina Sisulu has left the ANC in shock, disbelief, and devastated at the loss of a mother, ruling party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said on Friday morning.

"If she was sick, we would have expected it. Even though she was 92, she was still up and about, her death has taken us by surprise," 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 ANC was banned, and its leaders imprisoned or in exile.

"Mama Sisulu as an icon and a leader of the United Democratic Movement gave leadership when it was unfashionable to lead.

"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."

Funeral

Mthembu said government would be working with the family to prepare for Sisulu's funeral. The funeral announcement would be made in due course, he said.

A planning committee would also be tasked at organising a memorial service.

Sisulu died suddenly at her Linden home in Johannesburg on Thursday.

One of her sons, Mlungisi, reportedly said: "Mama was sitting in a chair watching the news as they prepared supper. And you know, all of a sudden she slumped to one side... Paramedics were called.

"In the house she was with two of her grandchildren... and the ladies who keep the house."

Another of her children, Beryl, who is South Africa's ambassador to Norway, said: "I think I'm still in shock because I was talking to my sister who was in the same room with her and she said she was fine, and the next 20 minutes you hear that she passed away."

Meanwhile, family have begun arriving at Sisulu's house on Friday morning.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  albertina sisulu
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