Duarte and Mabuza on Winnie: ‘This is our heroine’

Deputy secretary-general of the ANC Jessie Duarte and Deputy President David Mabuza paid tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday.

Both political leaders recalled her contribution to the struggle and her desire to see unity within the governing ANC.

“She was an unselfish woman … She wished for the unity of the ANC. For the petty struggles to disappear. She wanted people within the party to understand that without the party, we are nothing,” said Duarte.

Mabuza also honoured the values Mam Winnie stood for: “She valued collective leadership. She stood for the truth. She fought against factionalism and personality camps … She always sought solutions to unite our people.”

Both recognised the need for Madikizela-Mandela’s example to be followed. Mabuza called for more social workers to adopt her attitude, while Duarte implored the country to continue with the plan to expropriate land without compensation.

Duarte told the crowd, the country was already beginning to meet one of Madikizela-Mandela’s dreams – free education.

“Know that there is no walking away from the truth, from Mam Winnie’s life’s work that the land must be returned to the people,” said Duarte.

“This is our heroine. We know her worth,” said Duarte.

The deputy president said she joins “the gallery of South Africans whose struggle for victory led them to achieve great things.”

“In you, Mam Winnie, we have learnt to forgive in your unending love. … You struck terror in the hearts of racial discrimination and you have set the bar high for those who follow you,” said Mabuza.

“In letting you go, we surrender you to the universe, letting the ancestors wipe the tears that you refused to shed in life,” he continued.

AZAPO leader Strike Thokoane also paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela, calling on AZAPO and the ANC’s shared struggle for the end of apartheid, even though the parties had different political ideologies.

“We are heartened when we hear that the struggle needs to continue. … Every inch of the land that is arable must be taken back. … Our job, as Azania, is to continue with the struggle until Freedom Day comes,” said Thokoane.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Mask rules are not meant to ‘criminalise’ the public

Shop owners and taxi drivers can now refuse entry to people who defy mandatory mask-wearing regulations

Ramaphosa asks all South Africans to help to avoid 50...

Calling this ‘the gravest crisis in the history of our democracy’, the president said level three lockdown remains, but enforcement will be strengthened

Reinstated Ingonyama Trust managers hit with retrenchment notices

The effect of Covid-19 and the land reform department’s freeze of R23-million because the ITB didn’t comply with budget submissions are cited as some of the reasons for the staff cuts

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday