COSATU statement on the passing away of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

The Congress of South African Trade Unions mourns the death of the ANC struggle stalwart and Mother of the Nation -Mama Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away earlier this afternoon. We send our heartfelt condolences to her family, the ANC and all of her friends.

Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be remembered as one of the liberation stalwarts and heroines of the 20th Century and also for her firm devotion and sacrifices during the fight against the evil apartheid regime.

She stared down the evil apartheid regime, fearlessly fought it and ultimately outlived it. Throughout her life she remained a warrior for social justice and never shied away from speaking truth to power, even after the 1994 democratic breakthrough.

She was a fearless voice and a staunch defender of the working class interests and spoke out against the perpetuation of apartheid separate development, growing inequality and deepening poverty. She championed economic transformation without fear of favour and spoke out consistently against social injustice.

She departs at a very difficult time for the working class, when her brand of fearless leadership and selflessness is very much needed. She spoke forcefully against the excesses of the successive post 1994 democratic administrations and was disappointed by what she considered as their betrayal of the poor majority. She earned the title of the Mother of the Nation and the title of being a revolutionary, through her work amongst the people and she never allowed herself to be co-opted by the system.

The working class and the poor have lost a steadfast leader and a fearless voice. We shall forever remain indebted to her and her family that supported her during the dark days of apartheid. The best way to honour and preserve her legacy will be to continue the fight against the growing inequality and deepening poverty that continue to afflict millions of South Africans.

Lala Ngoxolo Mama WeSizwe!

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794