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ANCYL statement on the shattering news at the passing of Mama Winnie

3 April 2018

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) is shattered and saddened at the passing of Seaparankwe, Mama Nomzamo Winfred Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela.  The mother of our nation, Mama Winnie as she was affectionately known, was born in the village of Mbongweni, Bizana, in the Transkei on 26 September 1936. 

She the fifth child of nine children, by teachers Columbus and Getrude Madikizela. A fierce revolutionary in her own right, it is small wonder why she would be the country’s first black Social Worker. We mourn the passing of our mother in these trying times as Mama Winnie has left an immense void among South Africa’s youth, whom she loved dearly.

Mama Winnie remains one of the struggles great icon to have contributed immensely in waging the struggle against apartheid. Her struggles and tribulations are succinctly described by her first name Nomzamo which means “she who must endure trials”.  She stood against the system that continued to brutalise black people. She was officially “banned” under draconian laws intended to make her persona-non-grata, unable to work, socialize, and move freely. The gallant stalwart remained strong against injustice waged by the apartheid racist regime. 

Her contribution to the struggle is responsible for our freedom. Mama Winnie dedicated her life to ensuring that the indigent and dispossessed are integrated in the economy. As the Youth League, we derives our mandate from her wisdom to advocate for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime. 

Her love for education remains the only weapon that she used to liberate young people from the shackles of poverty. She passed her junior certificate (Standard 8) with distinction and went on to study at Shawsbury, a Methodist mission school at Qumbu. It was there that she matriculated and distinguished herself as a person with exceptional leadership qualities. Mama Winnie enduring fight for justice earned her an honorary Doctorate of Laws from the internationally renowned Makere University. She encouraged young people to further educate themselves so that they become better leaders of society.

The ANCYL is robbed by the loss of Mama Winnie and her passing has not only shattered the Mandela family, but the international community as whole. On behalf the ANCYL, we are grateful to the Mandela family for having to allow us to share your beautiful and inspirational daughter for the betterment of the lives of our people. We say, Mama Winnie, we thank you.

Lala kahle Qhawekazi! Lala Ngoxolo Mama Wethu, Sizokukhumbula!

ISSUED BY NJABULO NZUZA, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF THE ANC YOUTH LEAGUE