Tributes on the Passing of Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela

BY
HON MB GWALA MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE

 

Hon Speaker,

Right from the outset, I would like to table two pictures of the late Mrs Madikizela Mandela with Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi where one was taken under the background and the watchful eyes of Mahatma Gandhi, Inkosi Albert Luthuli and prophet Isaiah Shembe (Umqali Wendlela). The second one show how Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi tried to help Madikizela Mandela under the wrath of the former president Thabo Mbeki.

Namhlanje sibuthene kuleNdlu ehloniphekile sisemanzini, sizilile ngokudlula emhlabeni kukaMakadebona wezomzabalazo uMama uNkosikazi Winnie Madikizela Mandela. Sizwakele isigqi sokuwa komuthi omkhulu.
Iqembu leNkatha lithi alwehlanga lungehlanga emndenini kaMama uWinnie, izihlobo nabangani kanye naseQenjini elibusayo.

Mr Mandela and Prince Buthelezi had a good personal relationship that preceded his 27 years prison period.

Prince Buthelezi used to visit the Mandela family at their Vilakazi Street home in Soweto whenever he was in Johannesburg before Mr Mandela was arrested.
They would spend the time indulging in wide-ranging discussions including politics till very late in the evening while enjoying delicious meal that was prepared by Mrs Winnie Mandela.
During Mr Mandela’s incarceration at Robben Island, he wrote many letters to Prince Buthelezi.
Prince Buthelezi frequently defied the apartheid government by quoting some of those letters to thousands of people who used to gather at places such as Jabulani Amphitheater to listen to him.

It was in such gatherings that Prince Buthelezi would make public demands for the release of Mr Mandela and other political prisoners. In fact, no one made direct demands to the apartheid government for the release of Mr Mandela and other political prisoners more than Prince Buthelezi.
In fact, there was a period of almost 10 years of Prince Buthelezi refusing to meet with then Prime Minister PW Botha until they released Mr Mandela and other political prisoners.

It should be recalled that based on the interim Constitution, a Government of National Unity was formed after the April 1994 elections, and President Mandela appointed Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as Minister of Home Affairs a position he retained following the 1999 election. And whenever both Mr Nelson Mandela and Mr Thabo Mbeki who was a Deputy President were out of the country, President Mandela appointed Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi as Acting President of the Republic. He filled this position 22 times.

It is noteworthy that Mrs Winnie Mandela was bold enough to testify in her book, 491 Days Prisoner Number 1323/69, that indeed Prince Buthelezi was advised by both Mr Oliver Thambo, then President of the ANC, and iNkosi Albert Luthuli, that he should take up the position of heading the KwaZulu Government so as to undermine the system from within.

This had also been corroborated by the late Mr Walter Sisulu to the late Prof. Herbert Vilakazi who was accompanied by Mr Thulani Gcabashe.
All the above indicate the closeness of Prince Buthelezi to the Mandela family. Even now, Prince Buthelezi received a letter from the Mandela family requesting him to make some remarks about the late Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at her funeral.

Above that it is a well-known fact that Prince Buthelezi has also enjoyed a long friendship with Mr Oliver Tambo whom he worked with, right up until 1979. Also, Prince Buthelezi enjoyed a long friendship with Inkosi Albert Luthuli as his mentor.

Ngaphezu kwalokho ngesikhathi uMama uWinnie belwa noMnu Thabo Mbeki komunye umcimbi uMntwana waKwaPhindangene owacosha isigqoko wasibuyisela ekhanda lika Mama uWinnie ngenxa yokumelana nodlame olubhekiswe kubantu besifazane.

What has happened is a national tragedy that has touched millions of people, across the political and colour divide. Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Mama Winnie gave her life for – the freedom of all of us.

Waba ngowesifazane onesibindi ngokuthi adele izingane zakhe ngezikhathi ezinzima zobandlululo kodwa wama akazange abe ivaka. Waba ngowesifazane owaba nesibindi ngaphandle kokwesaba inkinga ayezifaka kuyo kanye nomvuzo onzima ayezowuzuza ngokwenza kwakhe ngalesosikhathi. Bayidlanzana abesifazane abakwazi ukudela imindeni yabo nezingane zabo kodwa bakhethe ukulwela iningi.

Let’s us celebrate her life and achievements. Although Mama Winnie has left us, her inspirational life will remain a grate legacy to her family and many others who knew her. The IFP calls upon all South African’s to honour Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela by eradicating racism and corruption in our country.

As the IFP we say if we are truly to celebrate the life of Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela we must eradicate racism and corruption from within our borders. It’s high time that we now shift the focus and eradicate everything that is seen to be dividing our society.

If there are people who still discriminate against others on the grounds of their race, religion and colour it means that we are still far behind in reaching our goal of a united nation.
We need to build a nation free from racism and from any form of discrimination. We must condemn this scourge and not offer a safe haven to those with racist attitudes in our society.

Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela was a great leader, who devoted years of her life to the struggle. Her unwavering loyalty and service is exemplary and self-evident. And her devotion to our struggle cause and values will forever remain etched in our minds. Indeed. South Africans will always be greaful for the crucial role Mama Winnie played in our liberation struggle.

Let’s us celebrate her life and achievements. Although Mama Winnie has left us, her inspirational life will remain a grate legacy to her family and many others who knew her.

The world now says goodbye to a legendary freedom fighter, leader and patriot. Mama Winnie successfully led a revolution inspired by her vision of a free, equitable and prosperous South Africa, she demonstrated to the world that women can stand up and fight.

We bid farewell and goodbye to a great woman who led by example, stood firm and fight the enemy.

Her soul rest in eternal peace.

Ngiyathokoza!!!