They will remain icons of South African politics and liberation struggle

QUNU – Praises continue to pour in for the late struggle icon, WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, with people who were close to her describing the liberation fighter as a brilliant, generous, and kind mother.

SABC News says WINNIE came from humble beginnings in the town of BIZANA in EASTERN CAPE Province, to become a global icon.

It says people in the small village of QUNU, in the same region, knew the late WINNIE as a politician and mother, after her connection to them through her marriage to the late Statesman NELSON MANDELA.

SABC News says the MADIBA Clan of the late former President describes her as being true to the character of a decent wife, so respectful, always wearing long dresses, and always with a doek on her head.

It quotes EVELYN MANDELA, MADIBA’s FIRST wife and a cousin of his political mentor, WALTER SISULU, says WINNIE mourned her former husband even when they were no longer married.

She says WINNIE never questioned any instruction by men who are leaders of this family, always respected what they told her to do and made sure she kept all the rules of being a decent and respected rural woman.

MANDELA family neighbour LUCCRITIA NGCEBETSHANA says WINNIE would take her mother-in-law to the commercial capital, JOHANNESBURG, from where she would bring all nice things the late woman bought her.

SABC News says in MPUMALANGA, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SOUTH AFRICA has also remembered MADIKIZELA-MANDELA as a true leader who also fought for the recognition of customary heads.

The national broadcaster says WINNIE also served as Treasurer of the grouping for SEVEN years, from 1989 to 1995.

It quotes a member of the Congress, KGOSHI LAMARCK MOKOENA, as saying he personally worked with WINNIE for many years in the organisation and in Parliament.

Mr MOKOENA says she was a leader who did a lot to ensure recognition of traditional leaders and their role in society; but he has condemned people who now sing praises for WINNIE after making sure in the past that she was isolated.

WINNIE’s friend and comrade, DR BRIGALIA BAM recalls her fond memories of a young NOMZAMO MADIKIZELA-MANDELA; who she befriended in the 1950s at JAN HOFMEYR School of Social Work in JOHANNESBURG.

DR BAM has described her as brilliant, generous, and kind; saying WINNIE’s contribution in the liberation struggle has been documented by a number of film makers.

Renowned Producer ANANT SINGH has reflected on his personal encounters with the late WINNIE, with who he spent a lot of time in 2013 when producing the film MANDELA: Long Walk to Freedom.

They became close friends for more than 30 years, after being introduced to each other by late the ANC heavyweight FATIMA MEER.

Mr SINGH says WINNIE was a unique individual with a strong presence, and her character in the movie required a special actress.

However, SABC News says ONE of the darkest moments in Mama WINNIE’s marriage must surely have been her divorce from the late former President MANDELA, who went on to marry GRACA, the widow of the late President SAMORA MACHEL of MOZAMBIQUE.

The late SOUTH AFRICAN political and liberation struggle icon will get an official burial on 14 APRIL, after 10 days of activities meant to honour her./Sabanews/cam

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