Madikizela-Mandela’s death marks end of an era for SA: Zweli Mkhize

03 April 2018 - 14:03
By Penwell Dlamini
Zweli Mkhize. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali/Sowetan Zweli Mkhize. File photo.

Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize has described the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as the end of an era for the country and the liberation movements.

Speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela's home in Orlando West‚ Soweto‚ Mkhize said the whole country was mourning with the Madikizela and Mandela families.

Mkhize said despite the fact that the party knew that she had been ill‚ everyone expected her to recover.

“We mourn a revolutionary‚ a real giant‚ a fighter. We will always remember her for her courage and determination to fight‚ and all the sacrifices that she made. As a very young woman who got married and had to face the harassment‚ detention and arrest of her husband.

“When I was a young man I was inspired by her courage…We think that at this point as the ANC we must say bow our heads with a sense of deep respect for her. Without people like her we would not have got the courage to fight on. At some point she was a lone voice but she stood. Because of that we have called her the mother of the nation. She was always there when our people were killed by the apartheid government‚” Mkhize said after visiting Madikizela-Mandela’s family.

Born Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela‚ the struggle icon died on Monday at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.

People in Johannesburg expressed condolences to the Mandela family on April 3 2018 after the death of South Africa's struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones‚ the family said in an official statement.

Mkhize described her as a very warm and loving mother.

“She has been a very warm and very loving mother. When she came to us you would never detect that she is the person who went through the kind of suffering she faced. She never harboured any bitterness but she was very encouraging and has remained an inspiration to all of us…She was the face of our struggle. It is the end of an era. We are losing the last few of those very committed freedom fighters. All we have to do is to take lessons from her life and take the advice that she gave us‚” he said.