Farewell to a true stalwart

REMEMBERED by many for her compassion and resilience in the struggle against apartheid, the nation mourns the passing of Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away on Monday  at the age of 81.

Born in Bizana on  September 26 1936,  Winnie,  who died at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, was the stalwart of the anti-apartheid struggle.

MOTHER OF THE NATION: The late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Picture: SUPPLIED

“She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones,” the family said. in a statement.

President  Cyril Ramaphosa  said “Madikizela was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free.

“Throughout her life, she made an everlasting contribution to the struggle through sacrifice and her unyielding determination. Her dedication to the plight of her people gained her the love and the respect of the nation,” he said.

Ramaphosa said added that Madikizela was the voice of the voiceless.

“In the coming days, as we mourn the passing of this heroine of our struggle, let us reflect on her rich, remarkable and meaningful life. Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life,” he said.

Political parties poured in their condolences.

“Her departure from the world of the living has left South Africa poorer without her.

“The SACP is deeply worried that the South African revolution is losing the veterans who contributed immensely to our struggles against colonial oppression,” the  South African Communist Party said. (SACP in a statement.

The Mandela family said: “The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing‚ we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman.” said the family said.

The special official funeral proceedings will be held at Orlando Stadium, Soweto, on Saturday  April 14,  Ramaphosa said.

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