Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
By Ilsa Rodriguez *
Pretoria (PL) South Africa said goodbye to Winnie Mandela, an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, with tributes and posthumous awards culminating in a mass tribute in Johannesburg and funerals with the honors of a head of state.
She lives in all of us, in our actions, in guiding our struggles and remains in our consciences, said President Cyril Ramaphosa in his eulogy to tens of thousands of people gathered at Orlando Rugby Stadium in the Soweto neighborhood to pay tribute to her posthumously.
Because of her confrontation with segregation laws, protesting the repression and detention of African National Congress (ANC) combatants, including her then husband, Nelson Mandela, Winnie was tortured, imprisoned and isolated, and was the victim of a defamatory campaign organized for the security of apartheid.
The release for the first time in South Africa of an award-winning documentary about her life, made by the Frenchman Pascale Lamche, presented in the very voices of the perpetrators details of the so-called intelligence operation of the racial segregation regime (Operation Romulus) to defame this courageous woman, a symbol of resistance.
The inclusion in the national and international press of negative stories about Winnie, the pressures on the legendary leader Mandela, who was married to Winnie for 37 years, and other ANC leaders to separate from this indomitable woman recognized as the Mother of the Nation are told with great audacity by agents involved in these actions.
Through Lamche’s film, South Africans learned from the very voice of the apartheid security services exaggerated Vic McPherson that in 1989 he was in charge of a media strategy operation against Winnie and the ANC, and that he had 40 journalists to whom he provided false information to be published on the front page.
A particular impact had on the citizens of this country was that McPherson narrated these events sitting comfortably in his garden and petting his dogs, who considered the most chilling images of this documentary.
These and other revelations by several of the regime’s exaggers, including former Chief of Intelligence Niel Barnard and former Chief of Police in Soweto Henk Heslinga, brought new admiration in the nation for this woman, considered the face of South Africa during the dark years of repression.
DESERVED HOMAGE Tributes to Winnie, who died on April 2 at the age of 81 after a long illness, began the day after her death with official mourning, flags at half-mast and tributes throughout the country, which had their highest expression in the memorial on April 11, held at the Orlando District Stadium in Soweto.
Songs and dances, part of the traditional liturgical ritual of South Africa’s black population, were a constant during the more than four hours of tributes led by Vice President David Mabuza.
In his words, the Vice President said that ‘we are here to mourn the death of a true revolutionary and leader of our liberation, to mourn the death of the Mother of the Nation because a tree that protected us has fallen’.
Mabuza, also vice president of the ANC, said Winnie remained relentless until the last years of her life and throughout her life’you reminded our daughters and mothers that women are powerful and can stand up to men’.
A similar ceremony, convened by Julius Malema’s opposition Economic Independence Fighters (EFF) party, took place on the same day in the Free State province.
TRIBUTES Analysts in South Africa consider that one of the most heartfelt tributes was that of Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, who dedicated a letter to’her elder sister’ where she says that’you have become one of the brightest stars in the sky, where you will remain forever radiant’.
The extraordinary life you led is an example of great strength and inexhaustible passion, a source of inspiration for all of us on how to face challenges with courage, firmness and unwavering determination…. Thank you for your brilliant wisdom, fierce challenge and elegant beauty’, Graca Machel’s message expressed.
Government and political leaders from various organizations, including the Communist Party, the EFF, the Inkatha Party, and the ANC youth and women’s leagues, among many other voices, expressed their admiration, respect and appreciation for Winnie Mandela’s years of selfless struggle for South Africa’s liberation from apartheid. In the final farewell to Winnie, President Ramaphosa said that her life was dedicated to the unity of the oppressed of all nations and in death ‘unites us all, those close to her and those from many nations and continents, to pay homage and remember her with affection’.
She has shown in her death that our many political and racial differences have been overshadowed by our shared desire to follow her example in building a just, equitable and caring society, she said. The president said Winnie’s conscience and convictions left her no choice but to resist because’she felt forced to join a noble struggle in her purposes, though dangerous to carry out, to speak out when others were silent, to organize, mobilize and lead when those who did were imprisoned or forced into exile.
He recognized that she lived, like many South Africans, with fear, pain, loss and disappointment, but each day she rose up with the nobility of the human spirit… They tried to denigrate her with bitter, twisted lies…. they wanted to destroy her so that she would lower her eyes and show weakness, but she always stood up.
President Ramaphosa admitted in his eulogy that’we are forced to acknowledge that she often stood up alone….too many times we were not there for her’.
All who appreciated her and recognized her dedication promised to follow her example and fulfill her legacy.
Prensa Latina Correspondent in South Africa.
Leaders from around the world expressed their condolences after the death of the anti-apartheid fighter on Monday.
Author: International Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
April 3, 2018 20:04:36
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
PRETORIA: Leaders from around the world expressed their condolences after the death on Monday of Winnie Mandela, a woman whom the current South African president described as “the voice of challenge and resistance in the face of exploitation and repression by the apartheid regime”.
In a message released yesterday in Pretoria, the head of state and government, Cyril Ramaphosas, further noted that “Winnie was a champion of justice and equality and that throughout her life she contributed to the struggle through sacrifice and persistent determination”.
The news of the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 81, on Monday, April 2, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, was reported by family spokesman Victor Dlamini. He said that “we want to communicate with deep sadness that she has passed away,” he said.
The African Union (AU), in the words of its Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also expressed shock and sadness at the death of Nelson Mandela’s second wife, reported Prensa Latina.
Also joining in the condolences was Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Yavad Zarif, who addressed his condolences to the South African people in general and to the supporters and all those who follow the thought and beliefs of the anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
Alluding to the four long decades of struggle against apartheid alongside Mandela, he noted that Winnie’s death had caused South Africa and the world pain.
From a closer latitude, Evo Morales, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, expressed his solidarity with the South Africans for the loss of the one considered by many “mother of the nation” of South Africa.
Morales’ message on Twitter states that the second wife of South African leader Nelson Mandela “was and will be a symbol of the struggle for freedom and equality.
In 1994, after the first democratic elections, Madikizela-Mandela was appointed deputy and vice-minister of Art and Culture. Since then, she had been a member of parliament and remained a leading figure in the African National Congress (ANC), the governing body in South Africa since the first democratic elections after the end of apartheid, in which she won together with Mandela’s victory in 1994.
The South African government announced yesterday that on April 14 Winnie Mandela will be sent off by her people with state funerals, after President Cyril Ramaphosa visited her family in Soweto to express his condolences and support directly to them.
South African activist and politician Winnie Madizikela Mandela passed away on Monday at the age of 81, her personal assistant said on Monday.
Author: Digital Editor | email@example.com
April 2, 2018 11:04:04:04
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Veteran anti-apartheid fighter Winnie Mandela, who became a reflection of South African women during the years of repression against the majority black population, died Monday at 81, Prensa Latina reported.
Spokeswoman Zodwa Zwane confirmed that Winnie passed away this afternoon and that the family will issue a statement within a few hours.
Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela was born in 1936 in Bizana, Eastern Cape Province, and moved to Johannesburg in 1957 to study Social Work, when he met the legendary leader Nelson Mandela, whom he married the following year and had two daughters. The marriage ended in 1996.
An icon of women’s struggle and resistance in this southern African country, Winnie is remembered for her confrontation with the racial segregation authorities in South Africa, her political harangues and her participation in black workers’ strikes when her then-husband was imprisoned with other leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) on Robben Island.
In 1993, she was elected president of the ANC Women’s League, Minister of Art, Culture, Science and Technology in the first government after the end of apartheid, and left her official position in 1996.
Until her death she was involved in community work at his residence in Soweto.
Author: Darcy Borrero Batista | firstname.lastname@example.org
April 11, 2018 15:04:35
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
In the afternoon of Wednesday afternoon, Mercedes López Acea, Vice President of the Council of State, signed the book of condolences at the South African Embassy on the island due to the death of the South African leader Winnie Mandela.
In front of Winnie’s image, surrounded by a vase of flowers, Acea, who is also the first secretary of the Party in Havana, wrote that “in view of the death of Winnie Mandela, a prominent defender of the rights of her people and an activist against the apartheid regime, we convey to the government and people of South Africa our deepest condolences on behalf of the people and the Government of Cuba, which we extend to them”.
Along with her words also appear the signatures of Vice-Chancellor Abelardo Moreno and Gisela García Rivera, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex).
The veteran anti-apartheid fighter who was the second wife of leader Nelson Mandela, became a reflection of South African women during the years of repression against the majority black population.
She died on Monday of the week before, at the age of 81.