‘Mother of Azania’ Veronica Sobukwe dies at 91

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe — struggle icon and widow of the late Pan African Congress (PAC) founder Robert Sobukwe — died on Wednesday morning.

Sobukwe, 91, passed away at a hospital in Graaff-Reinet, Eastern Cape, where she had been for three weeks.

PAC leader Narius Moloto described Mama Sobukwe as “exemplary” and as someone women in South Africa can look up to.

“We are saddened but at same time we celebrate her life, a life well lived, and a principled woman. She was a very strong woman, she supported her husband through tribulation, she was behind Sobukwe.”

Sobukwe was born in Hlobane in KwaZulu-Natal, and upon completing high school, she pursued a nursing qualification in the Eastern Cape. She met her husband — who at the time was a student at the Fort Hare University — when she was a trainee nurse at Victoria Hospital in Lovedale.

Sobukwe was expelled from nursing college over her involvement in a strike during a labour dispute between staff and hospital management where she was training. She was sent by the Fort Hare ANC Youth League, alongside Thandiwe Makiwane, to deliver a letter to former party deputy president and secretary general Walter Sisulu to bring attention to the plight of nurses in the Eastern Cape.

The Sobukwes had four children.

In April this year, Sobukwe was awarded the Order of Luthuli which is the highest honour a South African president can bestow on citizens. This award is given to individuals “who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.”

At the inaugural Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe tribute lecture held in August 2017, celebrated poet Don Mattera dedicated a fitting poem to the Afrikan Queen.

The Afrikan Queen

Azania, behold the Afrikan queen

Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe

The mother of Azania

We honour you valiant monarch

You whose life was dedicated to the liberation of your people and your land

Mother, servant, friend of the African dream of liberation and humanity

You, caring, giving servant of God

This humble ululation of song and gratulation comes from the deep deep hearts of the Azania nation 

Advertisting

Eastern Cape MEC orders graft investigation after two workers killed...

The killings of two council workers at the Amathole district municipality appear to be linked to tender fraud and corruption

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy

One strike and you’re out – registrar tells unions

A municipal workers’ union is the first to be sanctioned for not following the new rule when deciding whether to go on strike
Advertising

Press Releases

Dr Mathew Moyo’s journey to academic victory

The NWU's chief director for library and information services was appointed as a board member of the National Council for Library and Information Services.

UKZN pays tribute to Joseph Shabalala, Doctor of Music (honoris causa)

The university joins the global community in mourning the passing of legendary musician and founding member of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dr Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala.

South Africa to be almost R 14-billion wealthier when SAB Zenzele BB-BBEE scheme winds down in April 2020

It’s the biggest BB-BEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history, with a new scheme to be launched

UKZN vice-chancellor calls for perspective and creative engagement on the way forward

In addition to overcoming the deadlock between UKZN and students, a way must be found to reconcile the university's financial obligations and students' long-term needs.

Survey shows South Africans’ approval of president but not of political parties

According to the survey, 62% of South Africans think Cyril Ramaphosa is doing his job well, while 39% say no political party represents their views.

Introducing the Samsung Galaxy S20: Change the way you experience the world

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series features unprecedented AI camera technologies built for the future of communications

Andrew Makenete joins Africa Agri Tech as an event ambassador

Makenete has a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector

Is your company prepared for the coronavirus?

Companies should consider the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic when evaluating whether they are prepared for the coronavirus, says ContinuitySA.