23/4/02 - Sister Bernard Ncube being inaugurated at the Ranfontein council offices. Story: Gudrun

Johannesburg -

ANC struggle veteran and Catholic nun Sister Bernard Ncube died on Friday, the party said.

“It is an interesting coincidence that she passed on during a month that honours women, a subject she was passionate about,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

“Sister Ncube, who studied theology and was a teacher and entered the Companions Catholic Order, was pivotal in organising women in the 1970s to the 1980s.”

During apartheid, Ncube was arrested and spent time in solitary confinement. She was charged with sedition and subversion.

She was a leader of the United Democratic Front and an African National Congress national executive committee member.

In 1994, she was elected a Member of Parliament, was chairwoman of the portfolio committee on arts and culture, and was an alternate member of the National Council of Provinces.

“Despite her religious beliefs, she was pragmatic when it came to public policy options and thus was referred to as an 'unorthodox' nun,” said Mthembu.

“Sister Bernard Ncube spent her adult life at the service of the people of South Africa. For that, we are eternally indebted to her and her family.” - Sapa