Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family shelve plans for third anniversary commemoration

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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Durban – Out of respect to all front-line workers involved in the fight against Covid-19, the family of late ANC Struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, says it will not host any extravagant celebration to commemorate her life.

One of Madikizela-Mandela’s daughters, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, South Africa's ambassador to the Republic of South Korea, said the family had received numerous requests from organisations and individuals who wanted Friday, April 2 to be used to commemorate the third year since the passing of their mother.

However, as a family they felt it could not be done at a time when the country was facing an unending battle against Covid-19.

“Friday, April 2, 2021, marks the third anniversary of the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Our family has received numerous requests from organisations and individuals who wish to appreciate her memory on April 2, as well as on September 26, on what would have been her 85th birthday. We strongly believe that the loss of my mother, as well as that of my sister Zindzi Mandela, who passed away on July 13, 2020, cannot be separated from the grief felt by the thousands of South Africans who are still mourning the loss of their loved ones, during these uncertain times of a global pandemic,” she said.

Madikizela-Mandela died on April 2, 2018 and the ANC hosted the first anniversary of her death on the same date in 2019 by saying: "She was the indomitable spirit of the poor, the oppressed and those without a voice, wherever they may be in the world.”

Furthermore, Dlamini said this was a time for solidarity with front-line workers and all those who had lost their loved ones during the pandemic.

“We, as a family, will not hold any extravagant events for both these anniversaries this year. Like many of you, we have family members working in the medical services, putting themselves at risk daily, as they contribute to saving the lives of those fighting this terrible Covid-19 virus. We salute them all, as they face this dangerous battle every day, on our behalf,” Mandela-Dlamini said.

Mandela-Dlamini added that despite shelving this year’s commemoration due to Covid-19, the late Madikizela-Mandela would always be cherished.

“We continue to reflect and honour the legacy of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. An unapologetic stalwart who stood the test of time, in the fight against apartheid’s racist and unjust policies. Her life endured all forms of apartheid brutality, yet she continued to fight for the liberation of South Africa. She remains a significant feature in the story of our freedom and dignity as a people, with her life story inspiring many across the world, to date.”

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Political Bureau

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