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Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng expressed sadness on Wednesday at the death of struggle veteran Vesta Smith.
“The ANC will miss her strength, discipline, bravery and selflessness,” spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said of Smith's death on Monday, after a long illness.
“We salute her as the great freedom fighter.”
He said Smith had served the African National Congress since the 1950s.
She attended the Congress of the People in Kliptown in 1955 and joined the 1956 Women's March.
“These two events would make a lasting impression on her political life,” Ntuli said.
Smith also worked closely with Albertina and Walter Sisulu.
She was detained at the Old Fort from August to December 1976 under the Internal Security Act with the likes of Winnie Mandela and Fatima Meer.
In 1980 she was arrested under the Prohibition of Illegal Gatherings Act and was held for four months awaiting trial. Smith was given a five-year suspended sentence.
She worked for the Christian Institute with Beyers Naude and Horst Kleinschmidt until it was banned.
She also worked for the SA Committee for Higher Education before joining the Legal Resources Centre, where she worked until her retirement in 1995.
“Mama Vee was a gift to the ANC and has always dedicated all her life working for the ANC,” said Ntuli.
“Even in difficult times, she never had second thoughts about working for the movement.”