During the unveiling of Winnie Mandela Drive, Johannesburg Mayor, Kabelo Gwamanda, voiced regret over a missed historical opportunity for South Africa to have the first woman president on the African continent.
Gwamanda highlighted the significance of such a milestone and the potential to positively impact the nation.
"In my view, South Africa was denied an opportunity of the first female president in the African continent," Gwamanda stated.
He emphasised that this groundbreaking achievement could have instilled an indescribable sense of pride and elation across the nation.
Gwamanda was speaking during the unveiling event for Winnie Mandela Drive on Tuesday morning.
The occasion served as a platform to reflect on significant moments in South Africa's history and acknowledge the potential for transformative leadership that could have shaped the nation's narrative on a broader continental stage.
Gwamanda led the renaming ceremony and among the dignitaries who were attending the event included First Lady Tshepo Motsepe, ANC treasurer general Gwen Ramokgopa, first secretary general Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and Congress of the People (Cope) leader, Mosiuoa Lekota.
In 2018, the City of Joburg Council embarked on an initiative, which sought to rename the iconic William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive, paying a heartfelt tribute to the esteemed liberation stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
During his address, he described Winnie Mandela as a woman who was dedicated to overcoming any challenges she faced during her time.
“Due to the generational gap, I don’t think I qualify to speak about the life of this remarkable woman, except to acknowledge the fact that she was indeed a God’s gift to South Africa,” Gwamanda said.
Mama Winnie Mandela passed away in 2018.
Gwamanda mentioned that changing William Nicol Drive into Winnie Mandela Drive is a step towards dismantling the symbols of apartheid.
“This symbol marks not only the life of this heroic woman, but the hope in which our history was defined,” he said.
He also urged the public not to downplay their history as that will shape their future.