Madikizela-Mandela was 'a defender of the vulnerable' - Parliament

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela attends the memorial service of South African former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium on December 10, 2013 in Johannesburg. (Alexander Joe, AFP)
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela attends the memorial service of South African former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium on December 10, 2013 in Johannesburg. (Alexander Joe, AFP)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a "solid rock and defender of the vulnerable and defenceless", Parliament's presiding officers have said.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise both expressed shock over the death of the struggle icon.

"She defied the repressive laws and associated patriarchy, embodied a brave character of an unflinching woman in the wake of all odds against her throughout her life," they said in a joint statement.  

The 81-year-old, also known as the Mother of the Nation, died on Monday after a long illness.

Mbete and Modise said Madikizela-Mandela had "curved her niche role in shaping the struggle for freedom and in efforts to realise the new free and democratic South Africa".

They described her as an inspiration to "millions of down-trodden women across the length and breadth of the country, across the continent and the world".

"Her vibrancy, unending inner and outer beauty, her passionate connection with ordinary citizens, and her witty and critical mind had contributed in keeping the critical solidarity of the women of South Africa in every facet of life.

"She will be greatly missed, and Parliament trusts that together we will cherish and celebrate her life. Today, we have indeed lost a great leader, a champion of freedom and development, a people’s hero, and a mother, and a defender of the down-trodden."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
53% - 724 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 229 votes
No, I've never experienced this
30% - 416 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.31
(0.0)
GBP/ZAR
19.81
(0.0)
EUR/ZAR
17.15
(0.0)
AUD/ZAR
11.07
(0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(0.0)
Gold
1,776.67
(0.0)
Silver
25.97
(0.0)
Platinum
1,203.79
(0.0)
Brent Crude
66.77
(-0.3)
Palladium
2,781.00
(0.0)
All Share
68,699
(+1.3)
Top 40
62,898
(+1.3)
Financial 15
12,446
(+0.8)
Industrial 25
89,364
(+0.8)
Resource 10
70,350
(+2.2)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo