“Winnie was an astute gender and youth activist”-Ntombela

The Free State Provincial Government described the passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a loss to that has left South Africa, Africa and the whole world poorer.

Premier Sisi Ntombela said in losing Madikizela-Mandela, the world has lost one of its dedicated liberation fighters, a true democrat, a soldier for peace, a mother of the nation and a revolutionary.

“On behalf of the Free State Provincial Government and the people of the Free State, I would like to send our deepest condolences to the Mandela and Madikizela families; the relatives; the neighbours, the ANC Womens League and the African National Congress for losing one of our selfless activists; a mother, a grandmother and a friend.

Amongst all her contributions to humanity, we will remember Mama Winnie as an astute gender and youth activist. She was dedicated to the struggle for women emancipation as she was dedicated to the struggle for freedom and democracy for all South Africans. Because of Mama Winnie’s passion and dedication towards the youth, she remained youthful until her last days on the world of the living. May the soul of Mama Winnie Mandela Rest in eternal peace,” said Ntombela.

Born Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela on 26 September 1936, in Bizana, Pondoland, in the Eastern Cape, she became a serious opponent of the oppressive and racially segregationist regime. In the course of her activism, she played a role in the founding of Black Women's Federation (1975) and the Black Parents' Association (1976).

Ntombela said it is important to bow heads in respect and honour Madikizela-Mandela for being banished to House 802 in a small town of Brandfort in 1977 together with her youngest daughter Zinzi.

“They were forced to live in a house without electricity, running water, floors nor ceilings. Even though she was called a very dangerous woman by the Apartheid regime, she managed to establish women cooperatives, soup kitchens and other social and community development projects in Brandfort, indeed, she earned the title of “Mother of the Nation”,” said Ntombela.

It is expected that a memorial service will be held on April 11 and the funeral on April 14.Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Madikizela-Mandela will be honoured with a state funeral.

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