RIP Mama Winnie . . .

2018-04-11 06:03
During the Northern Cape’s memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela are from the left, front Dipuo Peters, Derek Hanekom, Mirriam Kivi, Alvin Botes and Collin Maine.Photos: Boipelo Mere

During the Northern Cape’s memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela are from the left, front Dipuo Peters, Derek Hanekom, Mirriam Kivi, Alvin Botes and Collin Maine.Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Women were urged to continue the fight against patriarchy in memory of the late mother of the nation, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

This was in the message of Jolene Ntwane, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC Women’s League.

She gave her tribute at Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial service at the overflowed Mayibuye Cultural Centre in Kimberley on Monday (09/04).

Ntwane was among the speakers who shared her memories and teachings through struggle songs to hundreds of mourners from all over the province.

Among the mourners were at least five NEC members, including Derek Hanekom, Susan Shabangu, Sifiso Buthelezi, Collin Maine, Alvin Botes and former Premier Dipuo Peters.

The Northern Cape joined the rest of the country in hosting a memorial service after it was announced that Madikizela-Mandela will get a state funeral on Saturday (14/04).

Frieda Oosthuizen, national treasurer of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), described Madikizela-Mandela as her sister in the struggle who taught her many things.

Oosthuizen said she has always admired Madikizela-Mandela as one of the few women who stood her ground, including preaching the importance of principled unity among ANC comrades.

“Don’t come with your cheap unity. Today you call for unity and tomorrow you say something else,” Madikizela- Mandela said according to Oosthuizen.

Oosthuizen described her as a warrior who went through the most fearful years during apartheid and segregation, but fought her battle to the bitter end.

According to Oosthuizen they were taught not to depend on tenders and learnt not to blame the lack of resources from the ANC.

“Mama Winnie used to teach us that you can do something with your hair, you can do something with your hands, you can do something with your body.”

Vincent Diraditsile, the provincial secretary of the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), pointed out how Mama Winnie knew that the generation of the 1970’s needed both figurative and literal guidance.

“She provided what was needed by the circumstances of the time. She was a real mother hen and kept the enemy at bay to protect the young people who showed an immense interest in the struggle for liberation from the bondage of colonialism and the scourge of apartheid,” Diraditsile said.

Madikizela-Mandela was also hailed by the ANC’s provincial chairperson, Zamani Saul, for never allowing her spirit to be broken amid being ba­nished.

“Comrade Winnie learnt from those who came before her. She was a reactionist and a freedom fighter in her own right. She refused to go into exile because she wanted to be with the people and said ‘I want to be with my people in the critical struggle of apartheid’,” he said.

According to Saul, Mama Winnie never betrayed her fellow comrades and remained the face of the organisation and a women of stature.

“She build a foundation for women. She recently stood up in defence of the homeless and fought along the civil society movements for the universal access to anti-retroviral drugs.”

He said Madikizela-Mandela turned down the national ANC deputy chairpersonship even though it was clear that she was unopposed.

“I remember she requested to consult first and when she was denied the opportunity she declined, and continued to accept the outcomes of the confe­rence as they were.”

Elaborating on the status of the ANC as organisation, Saul said they are faced with the fuelling of the easy coming easy going culture that has erupted.

“We are sitting with the difficult task of renewal and we need an ANC NEC and Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) that will work to improve the status of the organisation.”

He lashed out at comrades whom he labelled as “developing love for cheap money”.

“Comrades love money that they did not work for,” he said.

Saul emphasised the urgent need for the leadership to go out and fight the politics of money within their ranks to protect the future of the movement of Mama Winnie.

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