Tag Archives: breaking


Cde Joel “Peter Mayibuye” Netshitendze wrote:

“We really have to do a lot of work in order to educate our people and not only young ones but older ones who joined the ANC in 2007.

When the ANC was banned by the apartheid government,we went underground and continue to operate.Some of our members were imprisoned,some went to exile and some remained in the country.We had to come up with all methods of keeping the struggle forward.That didn’t mean that the enemy was relaxing. It infiltrated our operations,planted spies and created askaries.

Most of the UDF leaders were ANC members who either came from prison and so on. Archie Gumede was an ANC member and his father was the past ANC president in the 1927.Albertina Sisulu was the ANC member and was her husband. So UDF was the internal ANC structure hence it was done away with when the ANC was unbanned. To use Mama Winnie name as her not being the member of the UDF shows political naivete and immaturity.

The press conference addressed by Murphy Morobe was called by the Mass Democratic Movement and not the UDF. There was Cosatu, Civics,Soweto Chamber of Commerce,Cosas,Soweto Youth Congress,Azasco(SASCO),SA Council of Churches,etc.This came as results of many attempts made to requests Cde Winnie to dismantle the Mandela FC as it was infiltrated by the enemy and terrorising the community. “



In the State of the Nation Address in February, I announced that a central priority for government this year is to encourage significant new investment in our economy.

This is a necessary condition for the growth of our economy and the creation of jobs on a scale that will significantly reduce current levels of unemployment.

New investment in productive sectors of the economy is therefore vital to our efforts to reduce poverty and inequality. Investment in our economy has declined in recent years.

While total fixed investment in our economy stood at 24% of GDP in 2008, it has declined to around 19% last year. The National Development Plan says we need to increase this to at least 30% of GDP by 2030.

Foreign direct investment declined from around R76 billion in 2008 to just R17.6 billion last year
This has been driven by low business confidence and regulatory uncertainty; and has resulted in slow growth, along with poor growth in employment.

Economic conditions in the country are changing, however, and we are determined to work with all social partners to seize the opportunities that are opening up for greater investment and faster growth.

In line with our commitment in the State of the Nation Address, we are therefore launching an ambitious new investment drive. This drive will culminate in an Investment Conference to be held in August or September 2018.

The Investment Conference, which will involve domestic and international investors in equal measure, is not intended merely as a forum to discuss the investment climate.

Rather, we expect the Conference to report on actual investment deals that have been concluded and to provide a platform for would-be investors to seek out opportunities in the South African market.

We are determined that the Conference produce results that can be quantified and quickly realised. We are aiming through the Investment Conference to generate at least US$ 100 billion in new investments over the next five years.

Given the current rates of investment, this is an ambitious but realisable target that will provide a significant boost to our economy.

In preparation for the Investment Conference, I have decided to appoint four Special Envoys on Investment, who will spend the next few months engaging both domestic and foreign investors on the opportunities that exist in this country.

These are people with valuable experience in the world of business and finance and extensive networks across major markets.

I am therefore pleased and grateful that the following South Africans have accepted our invitation to be the President’s Special Envoys on Investment:

– Mr Trevor Manuel, former Minister of Finance,
– Mr Mcebisi Jonas, former Deputy Minister of Finance,
– Ms Phumzile Langeni, Executive Chairperson of Afropulse Group and a non-executive director of several leading South African companies,
– Mr Jacko Maree, Chairman of Liberty Group and former CEO of Standard Bank.

They will be travelling to major financial centres in Asia, Middle East, Europe and the Americas to meet with potential investors.

A major part of their responsibility will be to seek out investors in other parts of Africa, from Nairobi to Lagos and from Dakar to Cairo.

This is part of a broader push by government to advance economic integration in the Southern African region and across the continent.

In addition to the processes we must undertake within the country to finalise our participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area, we will also be pursuing other initiatives to promote intra-African cooperation on investment, infrastructure development, tourism and agriculture.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Ms Trudi Makhaya as my economic adviser. Among her immediate responsibilities will be the coordination of the work of these Special Envoys and a series of investment roadshows in preparation for the Investment Conference.

The engagements that we expect to take place will also be part of a process towards the establishment of a Presidential Council on Investment.

This evening, I will be departing for London to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

We will use this opportunity to meet with several major global companies to brief them on recent developments in the country and on our assessment of the economic challenges, risks and opportunities.

We will be communicating a clear and consistent message – that South Africa is an investment destination with significant unrealised potential.

Some of our fundamental strengths are well known. We have a thriving democracy, an independent judiciary and strong institutions. We have an advanced and diverse economy, a sophisticated and well-regulated financial sector, and extensive transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure.

We also have a youthful population, an improving basic education system and significantly expanded higher education enrolment. In other words, despite the challenges, we are working hard to build our skills base.

We will brief investors on the measures we are undertaking to improve the investment environment.

Further to the announcements we made in the State of the Nation Address, we are making progress in stabilising strategic state owned enterprises, improving the functioning of key institutions like SARS, finalising a new Mining Charter through consultation with all stakeholders, processing legislation for the implementation of the National Minimum Wage and the promotion of labour stability, and launching the Youth Employment Service to increase the employability of first-time job seekers.

In addition, work is underway to rationalise and streamline investment regulations and reduce the cost of establishing and running businesses.

Through the more effective use of industrial incentives, special economic zones and local procurement requirements, we aim to increase investment in manufacturing and related sectors.

We are creating more opportunities for new market entrants through our competition policy, preferential procurement measures and expanded support to small and medium-sized businesses.

After several difficult years, South Africa is emerging as an increasingly attractive destination for investment. We are encouraged by the growth in business confidence over the last few months, the strengthened rand and improved growth estimates.

We welcome the recent assessment by Goldman Sachs that South Africa is at the top of the list of potential candidates to be the “next big emerging market story” of 2018. It notes that the growth cycle is picking up after an earlier downturn in investment growth. It says that improved confidence is likely to lead to a better outlook for growth and investment.

This is confirmed by the South African Economic Update released this month by the World Bank. While the economy’s performance is improving, it notes that higher growth will require ambitious structural policies. It estimates that a successful conclusion of the Mining Charter deliberations, for example, could increase investment in the sector by 25 percent.

It is for these reasons that we are embarking on an ambitious investment drive alongside the implementation of necessary economic reforms.
South Africa has entered a new era of hope and confidence.

The task we have now is to ensure that this becomes an era of investment, growth, job creation and meaningful economic transformation.

I thank you.

Anc 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

Zola Skweyiya


The months of March and April this year, with dark clouds seemingly hovering over us to no end, have emotionally drained the South African nation, particularly the ANC and its Veterans League. For it was during this period that we first lost struggle Veteran Comrade Zola Zembe, followed by Mama Winnie Mandela, then diplomat extraordinaire Ambassador George “Dikgang” Nene, and now our committed, compassionate and dedicated Comrade Zola Skweyiya, who left us on 14 April, three days before his birthday. He would have turned 76 years of age. Thus, in a short space of time we lost selfless leaders who infinitely cared about the country, its people and their glorious movement, the ANC. These are elders who were a repository of the ANC ‘s history and traditions.

The four stalwarts mentioned above were always concerned about the downward trajectory of the ANC over the past ten years. They lamented how precipitously their movement had strayed from its strategic objectives. They agonized deeply when witnessing its gradual downward trend and how society was gradually distancing itself from this, their once formidable organization.
Comrade Zola Skweyiya was a member of the ANC Veterans League and became part of the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans who penned an open letter to the ANC, imploring for an immediate intervention to deal with the rot that was systematically
devouring their organization and destroying their country from within.

He attended all the convened Stalwarts and Veterans meetings and participated actively in searching for ways in which the stalwarts and veterans could intervene with the view to save their country and their glorious movement from utter and total destruction.
The President of the Veterans League recalls the hours he would confer with Comrade Zola during those critical times:

“At those meetings where at times I would sit next to him and later discuss with him during tea breaks, he would shake his head with dismay and ask rhetorically how it came about that we allowed the movement to stray away from its strategic path of delivering quality basic services to society so as to contribute in our quest to better the lives of the poor.” Why, he would ask, are there no repercussions against those who openly squander and steal resources of the country with such impunity, damaging the brand, image and integrity of the movement? Why, he enquired, is the Executive not held to account by the NEC of the ANC and by members of parliament? The patronage that is easily dispensed, he intoned, must be nipped in the bud.

It is the Stalwarts and Veterans who put pressure on our leadership to convene the second Veterans League conference which took place in October 2017. The last conference was held in 2009 when it was established. The outcome of the 54th ANC national conference in October 2017 ushered a new dawn and gave hope to millions of South Africans that the country and the ANC were on the road to recovery and renewal.

To this end, the president of the ANC and of the country Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa wasted no time and met with the stalwarts and veterans delegation and the Veterans League on 12 March this year. His was to recognize the role that was played by the stalwarts and veterans and requested that they be part of the ANC Veterans League and play a meaningful and constructive role of building unity in the country and the ANC, thus taking their rightful place as the custodians of the ANC values and traditions.

“Lying in bed at the hospital where he was admitted and watching the news as the meeting was reported, Comrade Zola called me and demanded that I brief him on the outcome of the meeting. Refusing to heed my plea that he rest as everything was in order, he said he was more concerned about its future and how we as the real veterans of the ANC could help in fixing what has been severely damaged. As a parting shot he commanded that I should come to see him as soon as I could.”

“A week later I paid him a visit at the hospital and briefed him comprehensively on how the ANC Veterans League was striving to unite all members of society and helping to build structures of the ANC.” Comrade Zola was assured by the Veterans League President that the league will support all initiatives by the current leadership to unite the ANC and society. He was informed that the Veterans League would assist the mother body to rebuild strong and credible branches of the ANC.

Comrade Zola, we as Veterans of the ANC are alive to the fact that you gave the struggle your all. Even during your last hours, your concerns had been how to save this glorious movement and ensure that it delivers on its strategic objectives. We shall double our efforts and ensure that your movement, the people’s movement, returns to its former glory.
As always we are ready to serve and will not disappoint you.

Lala Ngoxolo Boet Zola. Fervently do we implore you to let the Luthuli Detachment members who left before you, know that we will soldier on and will defend the gains of our revolution.

Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League

Zola Zembe

On the occasion of the funeral of Archie Sibeko (Zola Zembe)

16th April 2018, The Haven, Tynemouth England from former NEC members of the South African Congress of Trade Union (SACTU)

Today we bid farewell to one of only four remaining founder members of the South African Congress of Trade Unions, who on the 5 and 6th of March 1955, joined 65 other worker delegates, representing 33 unions and over 41,000 workers at the Johannesburg City Hall to launch the first non-racial Trade Union Federation in South Africa.

As the Regional Secretary from the Western Cape, Comrade Zola was to become a stalwart of the international anti-apartheid solidarity movement, a soldier of Umkhonto we Sizwe, trained in the Soviet Union and fully engaged in some of the most historic events that were to shape the course of the liberation struggle for the African National Congress and remains lodged in our history.

The former NEC members of SACTU, and staff who worked with Comrade Zola extend our sincere condolences to his wife Dr Joyce Leeson, the children, grandchildren and great grand-children. It is indeed the closing of an era of those who were the first volunteers to sacrifice themselves in the 1960’s for the greater good of the majority of South Africans to bring about a more just and equitable country and region.

We deeply regret that we are unable to be practically present at this funeral to honour our stalwart, Comrade and teacher. We shall await the return of the human remains to South Africa on Thursday morning.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South African has declared a special provincial funeral in recognition of the contribution of Comrade Zola to the liberation of the people of South African and the international contribution to the broader struggle by the working people globally for a more just and equitable world order.

In saying an era is closing Comrade Zola has been joined by a number of stalwarts who have passed on during March and April. This includes mama-Winnie Mandela as well as the former High Commissioner to UK, Comrade Zola Skweyiya. Both the Zola’s were in the first Umkhonto we Sizwe campaign in Wankie and Sipolilo in the then Rhodesia.

They belonged to a generation of freedom fighters, who were selfless and brave who were prepared to sacrifice and die for the cause they believed in so passionately. As a camp commander in our first military camps at Kongwa in Tanzania, Comrade Zola applied the skills he had acquired during his training in the Soviet Union. It was of little surprise therefore that he was amongst the first to be sent to the front to do battle with both the Rhodesian government and the Apartheid military. He like other cadres and for decades thereafter sacrificed his family and family life. He worked with Comrade Chris Hani, who regarded Zola as his mentor and in the difficult times Comrade Chris would confer with Zola.

It was during the 1970’s that Comrade Zola was called back to work for SACTU by the late Comrade John Gaetsewe the last General Secretary of SACTU before, under pressure of the Apartheid regime it was driven underground and into exile. Unique to the character of Zola, the Communists who at that time had great influence in the Engineering industry, through the Amalgamated Engineering Union, took him to work in an engineering factory in Stockport.

Zola returned to work in SACTU in the London Office and had to travel the world mobilising finances for the trade union movement in South Africa and the underground structures of SACTU in the Front Line States of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,

Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho. He developed a vast network of solidarity and support stretching from North America to Australasia.

It was his contribution that saw funds being channeled inside South Africa to specific unions to support their work, to support the SACTU underground structures and provide training in the front lines states and London.

In the 1990’s he resuscitated his old union the South African Railways and Harbours Workers Union and played a huge part in bringing it together with other transport unions to form the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union. At the time of his passing on he was the Honorary President of SATAWU.

His concerns with what was happening to the South African Trade Union movement in the past decade were well known. He argued for a principled approach to dealing with matters and not where vested interests were influencing decision making. His anger and sadness at the splits in the trade union movement went back to his plea, “that the organised working class should not be split – that unity was the key and strongest weapon.”

Working with Zola was for us a unique experience. He brought with him all the experience and training that he had been through since the 1950’s. He drove us through his commitment to the cause. He was very focused and insisted on detailed planning for every event. He insisted on a structured approach to everything. In the morning there had to be an office meeting to discuss the tasks for the day. Only after full agreement on what had to be done and by when would you be released to get on with the tasks.

Within two hours he would come to you and ask “how far are you – what are you waiting for – we don’t have time”. This would go on during the whole week.

He was intolerant of ill-discipline, and of those who did not display seriousness about the tasks at hand. He would remind those of what we were fighting for and who we were fighting for and that the people in South Africa and their needs came first.

Whether there was any ill-discipline or lack of planning he would move to that point and in the most forthright manner confront those who were “messing up” as he would put.

His vocabulary whilst never vulgar was unique, combining his training at the Agriculture College at Fort Cox with his military training, the application of a strategist who would think things through and then articulate in the most direct manner what he thought of the situation and those involved. His views were known by any meeting and there was never any doubt of where he stood on a suggestion or a position.

He hated dishonesty because of the damage that it had caused. He never sought to be popular or seek the easy way out of a debate. For him it was not what the majority felt but why they felt in a particular way and how this would help or not help, as the case may be. Comrade Zola was willing to be unpopular if he believed that it was in the interests of the struggle.

In his passing we have lost a unique human being. It is rare that one finds such all roundedness in an individual whose experiential learning put him on par with the academic fraternity around the world when it came to debating. It is indeed a sad loss and our collective hope is that his teachings will inspire those who are tasked with taking forward the struggle for a more equitable and just world order and a South African that deals with inequality, poverty and unemployment led by the working class and in particular the organised working class.

To the British Trade Union Movement who gave both SACTU and Comrade Zola so much solidarity and support we extend our sincere gratitude and thanks. We were stronger because of you and when the time came for us to go home, you were there to provide the final training.


John K Nkadimeng (former General Secretary)

Eric Mtshali (former NEC)

Humphrey Maxegwana (former Treasurer)

Ilva Mackay Langa (former NEC)

Thobile Mhlahlo (former NEC)

Vanguard Mkosana (former NEC)

Mark Sweet (former NEC)

Bangumzi Stix Sifingo (former NEC)

Yvonne Dineo Mokhatla

Promise Sibongile Khumalo

Janet Love

Xolile Skumbuzo Majeke

Tanya Abrahamse

Phakamile Ximiya

Godfrey Mokate

Fezeka Botha

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


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.

George Nene


Born in Johannesburg on 12th June 1948

It was deeply saddening that on the evening of the 6th of April 2018, the day we commemorate the hanging and callous killing of Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu by the apartheid regime in 1979, we lost one of our great intellectuals, freedom fighter and
consummate diplomat, Sipho George “Dikgang” Nene.

Born in White City Jabavu, Soweto, Comrade George completed his matric at Morris Isaacson High School in 1968. In 1970, he studied for a Secondary School Teachers Course at the University of Zululand. It was here that he joined the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and where he also became its office bearer. Upon completion, he returned to his alma matter, Morris Isaacson High School, where he taught and assisted in organizing students, some of whom became leaders of the June 16, 1976 uprisings.

Comrade George was recruited into the African National Congress (ANC) and uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) underground structures to fight effectively against the apartheid system. He was subsequently instructed to leave the country, after which he underwent military training in Pirivanhoe, in the then Soviet Union. He later spent a brief period as a military instructor in Benguela, Angola. He was then deployed to Maputo and Swaziland in the Special Operations.

A gallant fighter of MK June 16 detachment, he survived many attempts on his life, and was briefly detained in Swaziland for his underground activities. Comrade George was sent to Bulgaria where he completed a course in Political Studies at the Aonsu Academy in Sofia. He continued to amass knowledge and skills in Germany, Norway, France and the United Kingdom respectively.

This gentle giant later served under the direct leadership and tutelage of Comrade President OR Tambo, later to be appointed ANC Chief Representative to Nigeria. It was no coincidence that he became the first High Commissioner of a democratic South Africa. Upon his return to South Africa in 1990, he was kidnapped and briefly detained by the Askaries under apartheid enforcer Eugene de Kock. However, through the intervention of then ANC President Nelson Mandela, he was released.

Ambassador Nene served in many positions, including as Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN in Geneva, Deputy Director-General Multilateral Affairs, Special Advisor to the Minster of International Relations and Cooperation, Focal Point Member of the India Brazil- South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA), South African Sherpa to the G20, Board Member of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and Board member of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) before his retirement. In recognition of his experience and leadership qualities, Ambassador Nene was elected as the first Chairperson of the South African Association of Former Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Chief Representatives.

As a veteran of the struggle, Comrade George participated in both the conceptualisation and the formation of the MK National Council of Stalwarts and Veterans. He correctly believed that the ANC ought to continue to be the leader of society and advance the course of building a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous South Africa.

The Nene family, his friends and the entire movement have lost a great intellectual, a selfless revolutionary who put the lives of the people first. He served with distinction and diligence.

May the soul of this gentle giant rest in Eternal Peace.
Issued by:
Snuki Zikalala
President of the ANC Veterans League


FEDUSA Will Not Support March against National Minimum Wage

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) will not support any calls to march against the National Minimum Wage (NMW) of R3 500 a month from whatever quarter it comes from as this will be highly irresponsible grandstanding that does not serve the interests of millions of vulnerable workers.

FEDUSA remains fully cognizant that the proposed R20 per hour, translated to R3500 monthly, is not a living wage, but a minimum wage, recommended for 47% of workers currently earning less than R20 per hour. This alone means that half the workers will directly benefit from the NMW that has further been recommended to be subjected to an annual review, to ensure that its value is not eroded over time and that it addresses inequality.  

While FEDUSA is disappointed that the Department of Labour has had to push the implementation date of the minimum beyond 1 May 2018 as originally planned, the union federation fully understands the centrality of allowing for the completion of legislative processes and protocols that could not be accommodated by what was intended to be a most significant Workers Day event this year.

Properly crafted National Minimum Wage legislative instruments are critical as they will ensure that all employers in South Africa comply with their provisions and will also allow unions to be the eyes and ears of labour inspectors on the ground.

The South African minimum wage in its current form is the outcome of hard work; local research that has been benchmarked against the experiences of several countries that have implemented a minimum wage as well as the United Kingdom and others, using international examples and best practice as set down by the International Labour Organisation and of protracted negations between organized labour – as represented by FEDUSA, COSATU and NACTU – business and government, at NEDLAC over a two year period.

During the negotiation process – presided over by then Deputy President, now President of the Republic, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, organized labour pushed for a minimum wage of R4 500 on the basis of a living wage research that had been conducted on its behalf by the University of Cape Town but had to compromise down to R3 500 in the context of difficult economic realities faced by our country today and to secure the buy-in of other social partners, especially business.

Surely the false narratives being populated can in no way be seen as setbacks for workers, if the main objective of the NMW serves to address poverty, deal with inequality and address the apartheid legacy of low wages. Contextually then, how can a national minimum wage be viewed as a defeat, whilst raising the wages of 47% of workers be considered as a betrayal.

Despite the practical compromises that organized labour had to making during the minimum wage negotiations, we should never lose sight of the fact that more than 4.5 million vulnerable workers currently earning below R3 500 a month, including domestic, farm, retail and personal services workers such as hairdressers will be lifted out of abject poverty by its official implementation.

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