Winnie belongs to everyone, not just to the ANC – Mabuza

Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela condolence books launched by the ANC on April 5 2018Picture: juniour khumalo
Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela condolence books launched by the ANC on April 5 2018Picture: juniour khumalo

The ANC cannot lay claim to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as she is the “mother of the nation” and belongs to everyone, says Deputy President David Mabuza.

As condolences and tributes continue to pour in for the late struggle stalwart, the ANC national executive committee (NEC) converged on her Orlando West home on Thursday to launch condolence books in which the party encourages ordinary South Africans to write their messages to her family.

Addressing the media outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home, Mabuza encouraged all and sundry, including other political parties, to continue showing the family their support.

“As the ANC we want to remind you that the leader we are talking about [Madikizela-Mandela] is the embodiment of our struggle. She’s the proud bearer of the stars of our liberation. We encourage other political parties to come and offer their condolences as the ANC does not take ownership of her – we realise that she is the mother of the nation,” said Mabuza.

NEC members were the first to sign the condolence book, led by Mabuza, secretary-general Ace Mahashule, treasurer-general Paul Mashatile and chair of the party’s subcommittee on elections Fikile Mbalula.

Members of the public were then afforded the opportunity to also pen their condolences.

“We appreciate the opportunity to write down our condolence,” said Gerald Phiri, an ANC supporter and resident of Orlando West.

“This will also afford those with speech impediments the opportunity to fully express their sympathies. Also, not everyone is allowed inside to pass their condolences to the family so this will be a way for our messages to reach them.”

The ruling party announced that the condolence books will be available in all provincial legislatures, premier’s offices, the department of arts and culture, the department of communication’s head office, Parliament, and all ports of entry into the country.

Mbalula also took announced the memorial services planned for the next week.

On Monday a memorial service will be held at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus.

Also on Monday all provinces – except Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal – will hold memorial services.

“And then there will be a national memorial service on Tuesday in Mbizana [Eastern Cape] which will be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa,” said Mbalula.

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