Praised for Struggle sacrifices

2018-04-12 06:01
An emotional Siwe Coka from The South African Association of Women Graduates hands Mandla Mandela a booklet by women graduates in honour of Madikizela Mandela. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

An emotional Siwe Coka from The South African Association of Women Graduates hands Mandla Mandela a booklet by women graduates in honour of Madikizela Mandela. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

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The late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was remembered in Khayelitsha on Tuesday night as the ANC held its provincial memorial service for the Struggle stalwart.

Speakers such as Baleka Mbethe, Naledi Pandor and Mandla Mandela spoke highly of Madikizela-Mandela, with some condemning the negative comments made following her death.

The anti-apartheid activist and former wife to South Africa’s first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela, died on 2 April at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, following a short illness.

Speaking at the event in O.R Tambo Hall National Parliament Speaker Baleka Mbethe was scathing about Madikizela-Mandela’s detractors, saying that it was not the time to make negative remarks.

“It is ‘unAfrican’ for people to make negative comments about a person who has just died. I noticed with a heavy heart that some people were speaking ill of her after the news of her death.

When a person has died, lets us respect their life, what(bad deeds) they had done no longer matters. So many things are said, most of which were lies concocted by her enemies,” she said.

Baleka said that even though Madikizela Mandela was angry, she never held a grudge.

“She would argue with you now but moments later she would be laughing with you,” she said.

Many speakers shared their moments with the woman they have come to call the Mother-of-the-nation, with Mandla Mandela also paying a tribute to her life’s work.

“A rose has been plucked from our garden of heroes. One whom we all called Nobandla‚ Mangutyana‚ Mam Winnie or simply Mummy is no more and we are left with the thorns of loss‚ memory and as a nation‚ a deep sense of sadness.

Mam Winnie has been a shining sun‚ a guiding star‚ an immovable mountain‚ a mother to generations of freedom-fighters; one who has rallied together young and old‚ rural and urban‚ men and women; her power swayed our resistance to apartheid in the darkest moments when other leaders were languishing in jail or in exile; she had the ability to rouse the ocean of internal resistance to a frenzied boiling point and within a moment calm it down,” he added.

Mandela also made a clarion call to the ANC and its alliance parties to unite.

“As we pay tribute here in the Western Cape to the life of uNobandla‚ an undisputed hero of our struggle and a revolutionary leader in her own right‚ we also owe it to her legacy to rebuild a strong movement‚ a strong alliance and a powerful force.

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