DA leader Mmusi Maimane speaks to ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s former personal assistant, Zodwa Zwane, at her Dobsonville home. Picture: Siviwe Feketha/Independent Media
Johannesburg - “This is who I am. I am ANC,” said anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s former personal assistant, Zodwa Zwane, as DA leader Mmusi Maimane took the party's campaign to her Dobsonville home in Soweto on Monday.

Maimane - who met Zwane during his visit to Grace Bible Church on Sunday and promised her a visit - was flanked by several DA members, including DA Youth leader Luyolo Mphiti.

The jubilant Zwane was resplendent in ANC regalia as she opened her doors to the DA entourage.

“Since last week I have been wearing them, because I have been missing her (Madikizela-Mandela), and every day I put it on. It is like I can hear what she is going to be saying, that I look beautiful and young,” Zwane said.

She admitted, however, she also wanted to make a political statement during Maimane’s visit to her home. “But also I am sending a statement that this is who I am. I am ANC,” she said before Maimane cut in, saying he would also “prefer it that way”.

Maimane, who also hails from the township, thanked Zwane for taking care of Madikizela-Mandela, adding that he was not disappointed about her decision to make a political statement.

“The struggle of South Africa was fought by many from different strands. The contribution was done by many from different political parties. Acknowledging it does not make me more ANC or her more DA. It allows her to remain who she is in her role, in her party, and I can thank her as a South African to say you have contributed,” Maimane said.

Zwane said she was humbled by the DA and Maimane’s acknowledgement of her 11 years of service to “Mama Winnie”, as Madikizela-Mandela was affectionately known.

“Thank you. You are not the only political party to thank me, and I hope you understand that. So many (people) have said ‘thank you so much for looking after our mother’. That honestly makes me feel good and thank God for the opportunity He gave me,” Zwane said.

Zwane expressed disappointment that Madikizela-Mandela was not honoured fittingly, adding that the renaming of the Cape Town International Airport would have gone a long way in ensuring that she was recognised.

“If the airport could be named after her, I would be really excited. I would be happier. I would know that she would be jumping wherever she is. It is my wish that one day it happens,” she said.

Political Bureau