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Mam' Winnie Mandela - A fearless revolutionary! A product of mass struggle and indipensable voice of the marginalised!

3 April 2018

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) joins millions of the youth of South Africa and the world in mourning the sad passing of our Mother of the Nation, cde Nomzamo Winnifred Mandela, one of the fearless revolutionaries, a dedicated product of mass struggles and an indispensable voice of the marginalized.

Mam'Winnie Mandela was one of the most decorated figures of our struggle for national liberation, people's power and democracy. The youth of South Africa identified with her struggles; banishments; torture and detention not because of her 38-year marriage to the colossal and towering figure of our struggle President Nelson Mandela, but identified with her struggles partly because she was an independent leader in her own right, who fearlessly mobilised the masses against the heinous Apartheid regime.

She became a powerful voice of the exiled African National Congress (ANC) inside the country under hostile conditions. She provided refuge to the many young activists that identified with the ANC when it was not popular to hoist high the colours of the ANC during years of illegality. And she was a Mother of Courage to the many families who lost their loved ones in the hands of the enemy and apartheid regime.

It was through her tireless struggles, unflinching loyalty to the cause and militancy that earned her the accolade of being the "Mother of the Nation". She has been a voice of courage and a symbol of daily struggles of poverty, hunger, unemployment and landlessness experienced by the youth and marginalized post the 1994 democratic breakthrough.

One country has lost one of its dedicated and exemplary women leaders. She departs at the very critical phase of our struggle to unite the People's Camp and the broader Alliance for the successful triumph of the National Democratic Revolution (NDR). She remains one of the decorated and celebrated liberation icon, wherever she is in the nooks and crannies of the universe, she is now in the great company of women icons that contributed immensely for our freedom, such as Mme Albertina Sisulu; Josie Mpama; Jabulile Ndlovu; Ruth First; Miriam Makeba, just to mention a few.

Mam'Winnie Mandela will always occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of the ANCYL and broader membership base. We will continue to celebrate her indelible contribution to our struggle through agitating and fighting for an end to youth unemployment and fight forcefully that free education is not reserved but funded by the State in the interest of a Black and African poor child.

In memory of this great servant of our people, a dedicated soldier for social justice, we call on the ANC-led government to revisit its decision to increase VAT by 1%. Any increase of VAT is a frontal attack to the working class and the poor, who are seized with the socio-economic burden of taking care of the vast army of the unemployed, especially the rural and urban youth ravaged by poverty, as a result of de-invest strike by Capital.

We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues and the ANC led Alliance. Through her militancy, in words and in action, she inspired many generations of youth to join the fight against murderous apartheid regime. Even after political liberation, she continued to be a source of inspiration for young people, particularly women, in the revolutionary struggle for socio-economic emancipation. She will continue to be a source of inspiration for many years to come.

The ANCYL will always remember you. In times like these we are reminded of many songs we will continue to sing. In times like these we know and we expect people to be saying good and bad things about you and your life. As they share bad news we will always keep in our minds the words of Shakespeare when he says,
"The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones".

Contact:
Mlondolozi Mkhize
African National Congress Youth League
National Spokesperson
Mobile: 073 011 4676