Former Robben Island prisoner and retired Anglican Archbishop, Njongonkulu Ndungane, says Madikizela Mandela’s passing is a great loss for the nation.
“I think the first thing we have to do is to thank God for mama Winnie for her contribution in the struggle for justice and peace in our country in particular when the leaders of the ANC was in exile and she has been a role figure to most of us . We thank God for that and secondly I think that it’s great loss to us,” he said.
Politicians also continue sending their condolences. Addressing the media at the hospital, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe conveyed the party’s condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will this evening visit struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home.
Presiding Officers shocked and saddened
The Presiding Officers of Parliament, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Thandi Modise, have expressed shock and collective grief at the passing-on of a veteran Member of Parliament and struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
uMam’uMadikizela-Mandela, affectionately and widely known as Mother of the Nation, passed on at the age of 81 at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness.
Speaker Mbete and Chairperson Modise said as a struggle icon in her own right during years of colonial and apartheid repression, Ms Madikizela-Mandela curved her niche role in shaping the struggle for freedom and in efforts to realize the new free and democratic South Africa.
“She defied the repressive laws and associated patriarchy, embodied a brave character of an unflinching woman in the wake of all odds against her throughout her life. She was a solid rock, a defender of the vulnerable and defenceless.”
Former ANC Women’s League president, Angie Motshekga, says the late struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, committed a fair amount of her time to providing guidance to young women.
“Among the many things that people would remember her, as a politician, a leader, but she was such a light hearted, very beautiful person with a sense of humour. She was a social worker through and through and she really enjoyed the environment where she could speak to young people and young girls in particular – just talking to them about life experiences.”
Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille has also expressed her sadness at Madikizela-Mandela’s passing.
“I am very shocked to hear about the passing of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She’s been an icon and really a struggle icon. She fought for the freedom that we all enjoy today and may her soul rest in peace,” she said.
SAFTU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has described her as an international symbol of resistance to apartheid.
“She confronted the racist police as they were trying to give her nightmares and trying to intimidate everybody in the country. So brilliant in confronting that suppression of her people. Our people were just inspired by the guts that she possessed and long live Winnie Mandela!,” said Vavi.
Ahmed Kathrada Foundation extends its condolences
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation extends its condolences to the family, friends and comrades of ` Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
“It is with sadness that we received the news of Comrade Winnie’s passing after a period of illness that saw her in and out of hospital,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Neeshan Balton.
“We wish her family and friends strength during this trying time and trust that they will bear this difficult period with courage,” Balton said.
Soweto residents express sadness
Mourners have gathered outside struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s house in Soweto to pay tribute to a person who was affectionately called the Mother of the Nation after news of her death.