Category Archives: Winnie Mandela

Anc football club

ANC STATEMENT ON WINNIE MANDELA AND THE ”MANDELA FOOTBALL CLUB”

Recently there has been serious developments pertaining to the activities of the group known as the Mandela Football Club, which have raised great concern within the mass democratic movement and the struggling people as a whole. The ANC shares the concern of the people and has all the time tried to intervene to find an amicable solution to the problem.
In the light of reports about its activities in the recent past, our organisation, complementing the initiatives of leading personalities of the mass democratic movement, tried to use its influence to bring about the disbanding of the group.
Unfortunately our counsel was not heeded by Comrade Winnie Mandela. The situation has been further complicated by the fact that she did not belong to any structures and, therefore, did not benefit from the discipline, counselling and collectivity of the mass democratic movement. Under these circumstances, she was left open and vulnerable to committing mistakes, which the enemy exploited.
One such instance relates to the so-called Mandela Football Club. In the course of time, the club engaged in unbecoming activities which have angered the community. We fully understand the anger of the people and their organisations towards this club. We have every reason to believe that the club was infiltrated by the enemy and that most of its activities were guided by the hands of the enemy for the purpose of causing disunity within the community and discrediting the name of Nelson Mandela and the organisation of which he is the leader. Our people should not allow this.
The ANC calls on our people to close ranks and exercise maximum vigilance against the vile machinations of the enemy. Our position is that the problem arising from the activities of the Mandela Football Club can and must be solved within the ambit of the democratic movement as a whole, both at local and national levels. This must be done in the shortest possible time. To realise this, it is necessary that Comrade Winnie Mandela is helped to find her way into the structures and discipline of the mass democratic movement. It will be of paramount importance that she co-operates with all those involved in the resolution of the problem. We are confident that the mass democratic movement will open its doors to her in the interests of our people and the struggle.
There is a need to create a climate in which all problems facing the community, including the unfortunate death of Stompie Moeketsi Seipei, a committed young lion, who has made an immense contribution [unclear] to foster unity rather than let the enemy use them to achieve its ends. The ANC takes this opportunity to convey its heartfelt condolences to the parents, relatives and community of Stompie Moeketsi Seipei. It is with a feeling of terrible sadness that we consider it necessary to express our reservations about Winnie Mandela’s judgement in relation to the Mandela Football Club.
But we should not forget that Comrade Winnie Mandela has gone through have had immense contribution to the liberation struggle. She has not only suffered the anguish of over a quarter of a century of separation from her husband but has also experienced unending persecution at the hands of the regime such as banishment, imprisonment, torture and sustained harassment over a period of more than two decades. Bearing the name of Mandela [unclear], she increasingly became one of the symbols of resistance to racist tyranny both at home and abroad.
We firmly believe, without prejudging all the issues which have been raised in relation to the problem, that whatever mistakes were made should be viewed against the background of her overall contribution of the one hand and the activities of the enemy on the other. Viewed in this light, we consider it important that the movement as a whole adopt a balanced approach to the problems that have arisen. The ANC, for its part, will continue to work for the unity of our people and we have no doubt that all those who have participated in the attempts to solve this problem have done so in the best interests of our struggle. Statement issued by the ANC over Radio Freedom, 21 February 1989

Zenani Mandela

Speech by HRH Zenani Dlamini

Ladies and gentleman, family, friends and all those who’ve travelled from near and afar to be at my mother’s funeral, good morning. Your presence means everything to me and my family. Ever since we announced that my mother had departed this world, we’ve been comforted and strengthened in our hour of grief and weakness by your love, your messages, your visitations, and above all your testimonies of what my mother meant to each of you.

From the afternoon of April the 2nd, when we had to share, even as our hearts were heavy, that we had lost the woman the world knew as Winnie Madikizela Mandela, but who I simply called mum, we have been shielded from our own pain by your love for her.

To those of you who took time to come to Mama’s house to pay your respects, to bring us your condolences: thank you. We have been touched by your humanity. May you do for others what you have done for us.

I stand here this morning to both mourn my mother and also, like you, to celebrate her life. Because hers is one of the most unique stories in recent history. She dared to take on one of the most powerful and evil regimes of the past century, and she triumphed. For those who have not had the time or the courage to go beyond the quick headlines or the rushed profiles, I urge you to search the archives so that you may fully appreciate who my mother really was, and why her life and story matters so much.

One of the most important measures of how someone’s life has been lived is the extent to which they have touched others. By this measure, my mother’s life was a remarkable one. For those of us who’ve been close to her, we have always appreciated just how much she meant to the world. But even we were unprepared for the scale of the outpouring of love and personal testimonies from so many. From the rising generation, which is too young to have been around when my mother took on the Apartheid State, to those who hail from the African Diaspora, we have been reminded of how she touched so many, in ways that are so deeply personal.

As a family we have watched in awe as young women stood up and took a stand of deep solidarity with my mother. I know that she would be very proud of each of you, and grateful for your acts of personal courage: for joining hands in the #IAmWinnie movement, wearing your doeks and bravely mounting a narrative that counters the one that had become, to our profound dismay, my mother’s public story over the last twenty-five years of her life. Like her, you showed that we can be beautiful, powerful and revolutionary—even as we challenge the lies that have been peddled for so long.

As the world—and particularly the media, which is so directly complicit in the smear campaign against my mother—took notice of your acts of resistance, so too did this narrative begin to change. The world saw that a young generation, unafraid of the power of the establishment, was ready to challenge its lies, lies that had become part of my mother’s life. And this was also when we saw so many who had sat on the truth come out one by one, to say that they had known all along that these things that had been said about my mother were not true. And as each of them disavowed these lies, I had to ask myself: ‘Why had they sat on the truth and waited till my mother’s death to tell it?’ It is so disappointing to see how they withheld their words during my mother’s lifetime, knowing very well what they would have meant to her. Only they know why they chose to share the truth with the world after she departed. I think their actions are actions of extreme cruelty, because they robbed my mother of her rightful legacy during her lifetime. It is little comfort to us that they have come out now.

I was particularly angered by the former police commissioner George Fivaz for cruelly only coming out with the truth after my mother’s death.

And to those who’ve vilified my mother through books, on social media and speeches, don’t for a minute think we’ve forgotten. The pain you inflicted on her lives on in us.

Praising her now that she’s gone shows what hypocrites you are. Why did’nt you do the same to any of her male counterparts and remind the world of the many crimes they committed before they were called saints.

Over the past week and a half it’s become clear that South Africa, and indeed the world, holds men and women to different standards of morality. Much of what my mother has been constantly asked to account for is simply ignored when it comes to her male counterparts. And this kind of double standard acts also to obscure the immense contribution of women to the fight for the emancipation of our country from the evil of Apartheid. I say ‘fight’ because the battle for our freedom was not some polite picnic at which you arrived armed with your best behaviour.

The Apartheid state developed a sophisticated and brutal infrastructure for our oppression. It was intolerant of any talk of democracy, especially from a woman activist. I hope that the rediscovery of the truth about my mother helps South Africans come to terms with the pivotal role that she, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela, played in freeing us from the shackles of the system of terrorism and white supremacy known as Apartheid.

At my mother’s 80th birthday in September 2016, I said: ‘One day, the story of how you fought back so valiantly against that terrible and powerful regime will be told. Without the distortions.’ It is not two years since I uttered those words and already they’re coming true. Those who notice such things would have realized that her 2013 book, 491 Days—which tells the story of the brutality she experienced at the hands of the Apartheid state, the depths of her despair and her extraordinary resilience and defiance under extreme pressure—was already an invitation for a deep re-evaluation of her life. Because anyone who reads that book grasps just how much my mother dedicated her life to the struggle for a free South Africa.

She made the choice that she would raise two families: her personal family and the larger family that was her beloved country. And to her there was no contradiction in this choice, because she cherished freedom as much as she treasured her family. She was not prepared to choose between the two. She believed it was her calling to defend and protect both from the constant assaults by the Apartheid State.

Five years ago we lost my father and the world descended on South Africa to show its love for him. I truly believe that it is worth repeating that long before it was fashionable to call for Nelson Mandela’s release from Robben Island, it was my mother who kept his memory alive. She kept his name on the lips of the people. Her very appearance—regal, confident, and stylish—angered the Apartheid authorities and galvanized the people. She kept my father’s memory in the people’s hearts.

For those who have wondered, let me assure you that even at the height of her activism, my mother always found a way to let me and my sister know that we were the most special people in her life. When we could not be with her, she wrote letters to us. When we were with her, she did not even have to say anything: her love for us was written on her face. But because she had such a big heart, my mother could also love the community where she lived, no matter where that was. So that when she was banished to Brandfort, she immersed herself in the affairs of this little community and improved the lives of the people, who, in turn, received her with so much love.

In closing, let me say that when you read popular history about the liberation struggle as it currently stands, you can be forgiven for thinking that it was a man’s struggle, and a man’s triumph. Nothing could be further from the truth. My mother is one of the many women who rose against patriarchy, prejudice and the might of a Nuclear-armed state to bring about the peace and democracy we enjoy today.

Every generation is gifted one or two people who shine as brightly as the brightest stars. My sister and I are doubly lucky, in that we got to call Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela our mother and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela our father. Unlike many of those who imagine a contested legacy between my father and my mother, we do not have the luxury of such a choice. The two of them were our parents. And all we ask is: no matter how tempting it may be to compare and contrast them, just know that sometimes it is enough to contemplate two historical figures and accept that they complemented each other, far more than any popular narrative might suggest.

I’m deeply grateful to have known and cherished this woman that I called my mother. It is difficult to accept that she is no longer with us. Because she was always so strong. I’m comforted by your presence and your palpable love for this woman we came to know as Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela. As she said in her lifetime, ‘I am the product of the masses of my country and the product of my enemy.’

May we learn from her and be inspired by her courage.

Thank you.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

EULOGY BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT THE FUNERAL OF WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA

ORLANDO STADIUM, SOWETO
14 APRIL 2018

Programme Directors, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Chairperson of the NCOP Thandi Modise,
Members of the Mandela and Madikizela families,
HE President Denis Sassou Nguesso,
HE President Hage Geingob,
Deputy President David Mabuza,
Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Baleka Mbete,
Vice Presidents and Prime Ministers,
Visiting Former Presidents and Prime Ministers,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Heads of Delegations from Sister Countries and Multilateral Organisations,
Your Majesties and all Traditional Leaders,
Distinguished International Leaders,
Leaders of South African Political Parties,
Members of Parliament,
Heads of Delegations from Fraternal Parties,
Friends, Comrades,
Fellow South Africans

We gather here to bid farewell to Mam’ Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela – a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a sister, a great leader who we have come to refer to as the Mother of our Nation.

Just as we are burdened by the sorrow of her death, so too are we comforted by the richnessand profound meaning of her life.

The pain we carry in our hearts cannot be extinguished.
Nor should we be denied our joy in recalling the life of so wondrous a person.
We gather here not only to pay our final respects to a great African woman, but to affirm the common humanity that, through her life, she revealed in us.
Her life was dedicated to the unity of the daughters and sons of the African soil.
Her life was dedicated to the unity of the oppressed of all nations.

In death, she has brought us all together, from near and far, across many nations and continents, to mourn, to pay homage, to remember and to fondly reminisce.

In death, she has demonstrated that our many differences along political party and racial linesand the numerous disputes we may have areeclipsed by our shared desire to follow her lead in building a just, equitable and caring society.

Hers was a life of service.
It was a life of compassion.
She chose as her vocation the alleviation of the suffering of others.
She trained and worked as one who provides support and care and comfort to those most deeply affected by poverty, hunger and illness.
Yet, like many of the great leaders of her generation, she understood that the suffering she encountered did not happen on the edges of society.
Such suffering defined society.

She saw for herself the deliberate intent of the apartheid rulers to impoverish the people of this country.
Her conscience, her convictions, left her with no choice but to resist.
She felt compelled to join a struggle that was as noble in its purpose as it was perilous in its execution.

She felt compelled to speak when others were rendered silent.
She felt compelled to organise, to mobilise, to lead when those who led our people had beensent across the bay to the Island, whilst others were forced to flee beyond our borders or were martyred by a state that knew no mercy.

She felt compelled to pick up the spear where ithad fallen.
It was a spear that, throughout the darkest moments of our struggle, she wielded with great courage, unequivocal commitment and incredible skill.
Her formidable will was matched by a keen political sense and a presence that inspired both awe and admiration.

As a potent symbol of resistance, as the steadfast bearer of the name ‘Mandela’, she was seen by the enemy as a threat to the raciststate.
She was an African woman who – in her attitude, her words and her actions – defied the very premise of apartheid ideology and male superiority.
Proud, defiant, articulate, she exposed the lie of apartheid.
She laid bare the edifice of patriarchy.

She challenged the attitudes, norms, practices and social institutions that perpetuated – in ways both brutal and subtle – the inferior status of women.
Loudly and without apology, she spoke truth to power.
And it was those in power who, insecure and fearful, visited upon her the most vindictive and callous retribution.
Yet, through everything, she endured.
They could not break her.
They could not silence her.
After Nelson Mandela was jailed, she said:
“They think, because they have put my husband on an island, that he will be forgotten. They are wrong. The harder they try to silence him, the louder I will become!”.

And she became evermore so bold and loud.
They thought they could ‘banish’ her toBrandfort.

They miscalculated greatly because in truth,they sent her to live among her people – to share in their trials, tribulations and hardships, to share their hopes and aspirations, and to draw courage from their daily struggle againstthe tyranny of racial subjugation.
The enemy expected her to return from Brandfort diminished, broken and defeated.
They expected her to succumb to the excruciating pressure of years of solitary confinement, harassment and vilification.
Instead, she emerged from these tormentsemboldened, driven by a burning desire to give voice to the aspirations of her people.
To give them hope. To give them courage.
To lead them to freedom.
It was not long ago that we celebrated with Mama Winnie her 80th birthday.
On that occasion, we recited the poem by Maya Angelou, “And still I rise”.
It is only fitting that we should do so again today,for Maya Angelou could easily have written this poem to describe Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard?
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise”.

Like so many of our people she has lived with fear, pain, loss and disappointment.
And yet each day she rose with the nobleness of the human spirit.
They sought to denigrate her with bitter and twisted lies, but still she rose.
They wanted to see her broken, with bowed head and lowered eyes, and weakened by soulful cries, but still she rose.
As we bid her farewell, we are forced to admit that too often as she rose, she rose alone.
Too often, we were not there for her.
The day after she died, the ANC’s top six leaders went to her home to pay our condolences to her family.
Zenani Mandela, reflecting on her mother’s life and overcome by emotion, said: “My mother suffered. She had a very difficult life.”
Then she burst into tears.

That statement and those tears have stayed with me since that day.
Zenani’s tears revealed Mam’ Winnie’s wounds.
It brought to mind the moment when Jesus said to the apostle Thomas as recorded in the book of John 20:27:
“Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.”
In essence, Jesus was saying to the apostle: “Touch my wounds.”
During this period of mourning many South Africans have been touching Mam’ Winnie’s wounds.

It ought to have been done long ago. For she wore the gaping wounds of her people.
She had been left to tend her wounds on her own for most of her life.
Left alone to fend for herself only caused her more pain.
But she touched our wounds all the time.
When we lost our loved ones, when people were in pain, overcome with anger, prone to violence, she came to touch our wounds.
She bore witness to our suffering.
She bandaged our wounds.
We did not do the same for her.
In her book ‘Part of My Soul Went with Him’, she wrote:

“I have ceased a long time ago to exist as an individual. The ideals, the political goals that I stand for, those are the ideals and goals of the people in this country. They cannot just forget their own ideas. My private self doesn’t exist. Whatever they do to me, they do to the people in the country. I am and will always be only a political barometer.

“From every situation I have found myself in, you can read the political heat in the country at a particular time. When they send me into exile, it’s not me as an individual they are sending. They think that with me they can also ban the political ideas. But that is a historical impossibility. They will never succeed in doing that. I am of no importance to them as an individual. What I stand for is what they want to banish. I couldn’t think of a greater honour.”

Her healing from the deep wounds inflicted on her was incomplete.

We must continue to touch Mama’s wounds, acknowledge her immense pain and torment, and pass on the stories of her suffering to future generations so that it may always be known that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a giant, a pathfinder, a soldier, a healer, a champion of people’s struggles and forever the Mother of the Nation.

We must also recognise our own wounds as a nation.
We must acknowledge that we are a society that is hurting, damaged by our past, numbed by our present and hesitant about our future.

This may explain why we are easily prone to anger and violence.
Many people saw Mam’ Winnie as their mother because her own wounds made her real and easy to relate to.

It is only when you experience real pain yourself that you can recognise it in others and offer comfort.

That is what Mam’ Winnie did for decades, particularly when she stood alone as a bulwark against the apartheid regime, when she wiped away people’s tears, carried their coffins and inspired violence-fatigued communities to carryon.

Mam’ Winnie was a witness to the truths andhorrors of our nation, not only because of her own hardships but because of her courage.

Like the women who went to Jesus’s tomb after the men ran away, she was perpetually in the trenches, never afraid that it would be too much for her to bear.

When it was safe to do so, the men took over again and the women were relegated to a supporting role.
Mam’ Winnie provided leadership at the most difficult periods and sought no reward.
Like women throughout our society do every day, she toiled and never claimed glory.

Mam’ Winnie was universal and timeless.
As we continue to touch her wounds, we must be brave enough to share her life and legacy across our society and with the people she loved.

Shortly before her death, we had a conversation about her concerns, her worries and her wishes.

She spoke of her deep desire for unity and the renewal not only of the movement that she loved dearly, but of the nation.
She wanted a South African nation that wouldheal the divisions of the past and eradicate the inequality and injustice of the present.

She wanted us to honour the commitment in the Freedom Charter that the people should share in the country’s wealth and that the land should be shared amongst those who work it and be returned.
She spoke of many thoughts she had about how the revolutionary ideals and morality of her movement should be restored and not be undermined by corruption and self-enrichment.

Just as Mam’ Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honour her memory by uniting in common purpose.

Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will dedicate all our resources, all our efforts, all our energy to the empowerment of the poor and vulnerable.
Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will not betray the trust of her people, we will not squander or steal their resources, and that we will serve them diligently and selflessly.

The Mother of the Nation has died, but she is not gone.

She lives on in the young girl who today still walks the dusty streets of Mbongweni, resolutethat her life will not be defined by the poverty into which she was born, nor constrained by the attitudes to women that seek to demean her existence.

She lives on in the domestic worker who is determined that the suffering and sacrifice of her many years of servitude will not be visited on her children.

She lives on in the prisoner who regrets his choices as much as he bemoans his circumstances, who dearly seeks another chance to make a better life for his family.

She lives on in the engineer, who has defied discrimination and prejudice to build a career for herself in a field so long reserved for a privileged few.

She lives on in the social worker who tends to those in society who are neglected and abused, asking nothing for himself but the opportunity to serve.

She lives on in the Palestinian teenager who refuses to stand by as he is stripped of hishome, his heritage and his prospects for a peaceful, content and dignified life.

She lives on in the African-American woman, who though she lives in a country of great prosperity and progress, is still weighed down by the accumulated prejudice of generations.

She lives on even in the conscience of the apartheid security policeman who has yet to atone for his murderous ways, but whose humanity she sought to salvage and whose dignity she fought to restore.

She lives on in the movement to which she dedicated her life, as it seeks its way back to the path along which she led it.

She lives on in the nation that called her ‘Mama’, as it strives each day to fulfil its destiny as a united, peaceful, prosperous and just society.

Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died, but she is not gone.
She lives on in all of us.
She inspires our actions.
She guides our struggles.
She remains our conscience.
May her soul rest in eternal peace.
May her spirit live forever.

Lala ngoxolo Nobantu, Ngutyana. Phapha. Makhalendlovu Msuthu. Msengetwa
qhawe lama qhawe.

I thank you.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s true legacy: a free and prosperous South Africa

Johannesburg, Monday 09 April 2018  Following her passing at age 81 in a Johannesburg hospital on Easter Sunday, Brand South Africa highlights the important role that heroine of freedom, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, played in helping South Africa transition peacefully from apartheid to a stable democracy in 1994.
Madikizela-Mandela’s courage to speak her truth and dedicate her life towards fulfilling a vision of an equitable, prosperous, better future for South Africa is what made her a truly powerful icon of freedom. 
A true patriot, Madikizela-Mandela faced untold hardships during the apartheid years, yet she confronted each with an inner strength and fortitude. It is her courage and bravery as well as fearless commitment to fulfilling the dream of economic and political freedom which will remain her ultimate legacy. 
“Her spirit, her passion…her courage, her wilfulness: I felt all of these things the moment I saw her,” said former South African President Nelson Mandela of the woman he would later marry. Her dedication to the resistance movement meant she had to push many of her personal goals aside. The first black professional social worker in South Africa, Madikizela-Mandela had been married to Mandela for just a few years, when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1962. Like many black women of her generation, she was forced to become a single mother to her two small daughters and was thrust into the limelight as a ‘political widow’. 
“We were hardly a year together when history deprived me of you,” she wrote in a letter to Mandela while he was in prison in 1970, published in her autobiography 491 Days, Prisoner Number 1323/69.
Madikizela-Mandela took up the challenge of continuing to resist the racism and sexism that defined her generation with a maturity beyond her years.  It was thanks largely to her, that international attention remained focused on the story of Nelson Mandela and the fight against Apartheid while he served out his prison sentence.
“Your formidable shadow which eclipsed me left me naked and exposed to the bitter world of a young ‘political widow’. I knew this was a crown of thorns for me but I also knew I said, ‘I Do’ for better or worse. In marrying you I was marrying the struggle of my people,” she wrote to Mandela in 1977, in a letter also published in her autobiography.
It was when she was arrested by the apartheid police and taken away from her two daughters, then aged just nine and ten years old, that she was forced to bear the true weight of personal sacrifice for her people. She spent 491 days in detention, much of this in solitary confinement under unimaginably brutal conditions.  Two trials later, she was finally released. 
“She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband, the perpetual harassment of her family by security forces, detentions, bannings and banishment. Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists,” noted Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate after her passing.
Former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke, once part of the legal team who defended Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said she had an “incredible ability to be able to take on injustice and soak up pain in a way that is not immediately describable.”
Madikizela-Mandela traded what could have been a simple life of motherhood and marriage for an active political life.  Instead, she became fondly known as the
“Mother of the Nation”, serving as a mentor and mother to many of South Africa’s young activists, including Fikile Mbalula, current chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on elections and Malusi Gigaba, now Minister of Home Affairs, both of whom who lived with Madikizela-Mandela as young members of the party’s Youth League.  
“Mam’ Winnie lost her innocence because of a struggle she actually didn’t choose, the struggle entrusted upon her by the husband she chose and the people she identified with – the vulnerable people who were discriminated because of apartheid,” said Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in tribute to her.
Actress Terry Pheto who played Madikizela-Mandela in the BET drama Madiba, said she grew up looking up to Winnie, because her mother did as well.  “I was very aware of her journey, her struggles and her fights. Because of that, it was important for me to see this role as I’ve always seen her; an important and necessary figure in our time,” Pheto said in an interview in 2017 with HuffPost.
Although separated for 27 years while Mandela was in prison, the couple communicated through a series of emotion-filled hand-written letters. In one, also published in 491 Days she wrote: “As you say, our goal is [a] free Africa, my love I have never had any doubts about that.” 
It was this vision that inspired the couple to dedicate their lives to fulfilling their dream of a free South Africa. Madikizela-Mandela came to represent the hopes and dreams of millions of oppressed South Africans.
“Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in tribute to Madikizela-Mandela.
As South Africa mourns the loss of a brave, courageous leader. We also celebrate her sacrifices and achievements over a lifetime of dedicated service to and making the dream of a free and prosperous South Africa a reality. 
Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela, who lived with Madikizela-Mandela after her husband Nelson Mandela’s release from prison expressed his sadness saying “It is truly with great sadness to have lost the Mother of the Nation. We are forever grateful for the role she played in securing our freedom. We indeed need to celebrate her legacy.”
Hamba Kahle Mama.
Please contact Tsabeng Nthite on +27 76 371 6810 if you would like to interview any of the following people about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela:
 
Brand SA CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela
Fikile Mbalula, Chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on elections
Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs
Sello Hatang, CEO of Nelson Mandela Foundation
Dikgang Moseneke, Former Deputy Chief Justice,
Terry Pheto, Actress who played Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Stalwarts

For Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936 – 2018)

Today we grieve,
The mother of the nation has breathed her last,
today we reflect on her gallant past.
Today we mourn,
the falling of a giant tree,
who rattled the foundations of Apartheid,
in the collective struggle to be from oppression free.
Today we weep,
tears of sorrow and tears of pain,
for our mother who shall no longer walk amongst us again.
Today we sing,
songs of freedom and of profound loss,
as we remember the cruel and brutal obstacles she had to cross.
Today we reflect,
on the years of banishment and of solitary confinement she was made to suffer,
with no husband, no family, nothing but her will acting as her protective buffer.
Today we recall her strength,
as she fought alongside her comrades without a pause,
while remaining ever faithfully dedicated to the valiant struggle, to the cause.
Today we console each other as the truth cuts deep,
her life one of loss and of unimaginable pain,
as we call out our eternal refrain –
Hamba Kahle* Mama Winnie Mandela!
We will not give up your fight!
Matla ke a Rona!**
The Struggle Continues.
Viva the undying spirit of Winnie Mandela!
Viva the struggle against racism and oppression!
_________* – Hamba Kahle – an isiXhosa and isiZulu term meaning “travel well” – often used when bidding a departed one adieu.* – Matla ke a Rona – victory is certain – a slogan during the struggle against Apartheid oppression and racial discrimination.Afzal Moolla
On behalf of the stalwarts and veterans of the ANC who are signatories to the “For the Sake of our Future” document.

 

Winnie Madikizela Mandela

PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA DECLARES SPECIAL OFFICIAL FUNERAL FOR MAMA WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Mama Winnie Mandela, the recipient of the Order of Luthuli Award in Silver for bravery. Winnie Mandela was a pillar of our struggle for liberation in the struggle against the most atrocious apartheid regime. The ANC Veterans League sends its deepest condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families.
Following is a poignant account from the President of the Veterans League, who knew and worked with this giant of our movement during those dark and seemingly horrid times of our struggle.

“I was introduced to the ANC when I was very young, angry and militant, by Winnie Mandela and worked with her when it was not fashionable to be associated with our glorious movement.
it is unimaginable that she is no more.”

He elaborates: “I remember vividly when I met her in 1966 in down town Johannesburg where she was working as a secretary. We spoke quietly in hushed tones on how evil and atrocious the apartheid system was, a system which denied millions of South Africans their birthright. The topic then focused on the hated Bantu education system designed for black South Africans, the appalling and segregated living conditions, how workers’ rights were trampled upon on a daily basis, and the daily harassment and torture of those who dared raise their voices in defiance of the obnoxious system where blacks were made hewers of wood and drawers of waters.
It was only when she invited me to her home in Orlando West in Soweto that she spoke freely and we started planning on how we could mobilize and organize the youth to become active participants in the struggle against apartheid. Winnie never revealed her identity then. She was a leader in her own right. She was not in the struggle because she was married to Nelson Mandela, but was a committed and dedicated member of the ANC.

She later introduced us to incorrigible leaders like Samson Ndou, Marita Ndzanga and her husband Lawrance Ndzanga, Elliot Shabangu, Joyce Sikakane, and Sam Poloto.
As the militant youth of the day, we wanted to be trained on how to handle weapons and explosives. We had already identified targets that were going to disrupt the South African economy.

Winnie was very patient by then and insisted on us receiving political training especially on the aims and objectives of the ANC and the Freedom Charter. I recall that we had to recite the Freedom Charter like a bible and only then were we introduced to underground training in the handling of sensitive information. The training included production of leaflet bombs, distribution of ANC underground material, manufacturing of Molotov cocktails and learning how to infiltrate MK cadres who would train us internally.

Yes, we researched on how we can procure weapons from the armaments factories of Denel and Armscor. We became responsible for distributing and setting up of leaflet bombs in the Johannesburg City Centre. It was in May 1969 when more than 120 ANC activist were rounded up, arrested and detained under the notorious Section 6 of the Terrorism Act of 1967.The notorious Act allowed the state to detain members of society who were opposed to apartheid for 180 days without trial.

Twenty one of us spent 12 months in solitary confinement and 6 months on trial, first under the Suppression of the Communism Act and were later detained and charged under the Terrorism Act. We were severely tortured, but our spirits and the resolve to fight the apartheid regime were never dampened.

Comrade Benjamin Ramotse, who was kidnapped from Botswana and brutally tortured, stood trial with us and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on Robben Island. After our trial in September 1970, we were all banned under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950. A banned person endured severe restrictions on their movement, political activities, and associations intended to silence their opposition to the government’s apartheid policies and stop their political activity.

Later, when some of us left the country in 1974 to re-enforce the activities of the ANC in exile in Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola and Bulgaria, comrade Winnie Mandela remained as the pillar of our struggle in the country, soldiering on without let or hindrance.
She was banned, harassed and banished to Brandfort. She, however,stood firm on her political convictions. She expressed he bravery, always fighting for the interest of the poor. She strived to overcome the terrible conditions of apartheid and never gave up.”

Comrade Winnie Mandela, “Mother of the Nation”, you will always be remembered for the contribution you have made in the struggle for liberation. The ANC Veterans League dips its revolutionary banner in honour of this extraordinary giant of our struggle.

Lala ngo Xolo. Hamba Kahle Qhawe la Maqhawe
Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

THE ANC VETERANS LEAGUE MOURNS THE DEATH OF ITS STALWART WINNIE MANDELA.

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the untimely death of Mama Winnie Mandela, the recipient of the Order of Luthuli Award in Silver for bravery.

Winnie Mandela was a pillar of our struggle for liberation in the struggle against the most atrocious apartheid regime. The ANC Veterans League sends its deepest condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families.

Following is a poignant account from the President of the Veterans League, who knew and worked with this giant of our movement during those dark and seemingly horrid times of our struggle.

“I was introduced to the ANC when I was very young, angry and militant, by Winnie Mandela and worked with her when it was not fashionable to be associated with our glorious movement.

it is unimaginable that she is no more.”

He elaborates: “I remember vividly when I met her in 1966 in down town Johannesburg where she was working as a secretary. We spoke quietly in hushed tones on how evil and atrocious the apartheid system was, a system which denied millions of South Africans their birthright. The topic then focused on the hated Bantu education system designed for black South Africans, the appalling and segregated living conditions, how workers’ rights were trampled upon on a daily basis, and the daily harassment and torture of those who dared raise their voices in defiance of the obnoxious system where blacks were made hewers of wood and drawers of waters.

It was only when she invited me to her home in Orlando West in Soweto that she spoke freely and we started planning on how we could mobilize and organize the youth to become active participants in the struggle against apartheid.

Winnie never revealed her identity then. She was a leader in her own right. She was not in the struggle because she was married to Nelson Mandela, but was a committed and dedicated member of the ANC.

She later introduced us to incorrigible leaders like Samson Ndou, Marita Ndzanga and her husband Lawrance Ndzanga, Elliot Shabangu, Joyce Sikakane, and Sam Poloto,

As the militant youth of the day, we wanted to be trained on how to handle weapons and explosives. We had already identified targets that were going to disrupt the South African economy.

Winnie was very patient by then and insisted on us receiving political training especially on the aims and objectives of the ANC and the Freedom Charter.

I recall that we had to recite the Freedom Charter like a bible and only then were we introduced to underground training in the handling of sensitive information. The training included production of leaflet bombs, distribution of ANC underground material, manufacturing of Molotov cocktails and learning how to infiltrate MK cadres who would train us internally.

Yes, we researched oh how we can procure weapons from the armaments factories of Denel and Armscor. We became responsible for distributing and setting up of leaflet bombs in the Johannesburg City Centre.

It was in May 1969 when more than 120 ANC activist were rounded up, arrested and detained under the notorious Section 6 of the Terrorism Act of 1967.The notorious Act allowed the state to detain members of society who were opposed to apartheid for 180 days without trial.

Twenty one of us spent 12 months in solitary confinement and 6 months on trial, first under the Suppression of the Communism Act and were later detained and charged under the Terrorism Act.

We were severely tortured, but our spirits and the resolve to fight the apartheid regime were never dampened.

Comrade Benjamin Ramotse, who was kidnapped from Botswana and brutally tortured, stood trial with us and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on Robben Island.

After our trial in September 1970, we were all banned under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950. A banned person endured severe restrictions on their movement, political activities, and associations intended to silence their opposition to the government’s apartheid policies and stop their political activity.

Later, when some of us left the country in 1974 to re-enforce the activities of the ANC in exile in Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Angola and Bulgaria, comrade Winnie Mandela remained as the pillar of our struggle in the country, soldiering on without let or hindrance.

She was banned, harassed and banished to Brandfort. She, however,

stood firm on her political convictions. She expressed he bravery, always fighting for the interest of the poor. She strived to overcome the terrible conditions of apartheid and never gave up.”

Comrade Winnie Mandela, “Mother of the Nation”, you will always be remembered for the contribution you have made in the struggle for liberation. The ANC Veterans League dips its revolutionary banner in honour of this extraordinary giant of our struggle.

Lala ngo Xolo. Hamba Kahle Qhawe la Maqhawe

Snuki Zikalala

President of the ANC Veterans League