Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family welcomes EFF naming its headquarters after her
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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family has welcomed the EFF’s decision to name its Johannesburg headquarters after her, on what would have been the late struggle icon’s 85th birthday on Sunday.
Members of Madikizela-Mandela’s family, including her daughter, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, currently South Africa’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, celebrated her birthday with the EFF at the party’s local government election manifesto launch.
Speaking at the event after viewing the building, which was previously occupied by the ANC Joburg region, Mandela-Dlamini said: “I flew all the way from the Republic of Korea to be with you on my mother’s birthday. My family wants me to tell you how much we appreciate the EFF in that it has never and will never forget my mother.
“Her memory lies in each and everyone of us. We thank you for keeping her legacy alive.”
She urged the women in the EFF to continue embracing the legacy of her mother to ensure that her memory and contribution was not forgotten.
While Mandela-Dlamini, in her closing remarks, indirectly confirmed her family’s allegiance to the ANC, she emphasised that they did “not discard those that joined other political parties".
“We are all-embracing,’ she said.
She was speaking moments after EFF leader Julius Malema acknowledged that Madikizela-Mandela died still loyal to the ANC, while noting she had accommodated them after the ANC dismissed him and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, from the ANC.
Malema mocked the ANC for his dismissal, saying that after his departure those that remained allegedly told him that “it is cold outside the ANC”.
“I now want to tell you that it is actually warm outside the ANC. I found a home for the youth, the abused people, the exploited farmworkers, and that home is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela House,” Malema said.
He said it was EFF councillors who tabled the motion in the City of Joburg that William Nicol Drive be renamed after the struggle icon. He also told those attending the manifesto launch and birthday celebration that the party had already "bought land to build a school in memory of Winnie Mandela”.
“We’ve bought the land. People are already busy with the design of the school and soon contractors will be on site and building the school,” Malema said
Malema said the ANC had sold out Madikizela-Mandela’s vision of the return of land to its rightful owners.
Anti-colonialist and Indian nationalist Mahatma Gandhi also came in for some criticism.
EFF chairperson Veronica Mente labelled him “racist Gandhi” and said Gandhi Square in Johannesburg’s CBD “must be renamed after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela”, to the applause of more than 15 000 people attending the event.
The EFF’s headquarters are located in Gandhi Square.