We were not brave enough to make Mam’ Winnie president: Bathabile Dlamini

03 April 2018 - 17:24 By Penwell Dlamini
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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. File photo.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. File photo.
Image: James Oatway/Sunday Times

The leader of the ANC Women’s League Bathabile Dlamini says the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was good enough to be the president of the country but women failed to be brave and fight for this to happen.

Speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Orlando West‚ Soweto‚ Dlamini said Mam’ Winnie played a crucial role in developing the kind of leaders the ANCWL had today.

“Mam’ Winnie had a beautiful heart. She was beautiful outside and inside. She always stood with the poor. She always fought for the powerless. Even when the enemy was trying to take her off the path‚ no one could be able to sink down her spirit because she was always with the people.

“Therefore our leadership must learn from Mam’ Winnie. We must pick up her spear and always be with the people. The ANCWL will have its own memorial services throughout the country because Mama was the president of the ANCWL.

“She is the one who used to tell us about the struggles of Charlotte Maxeke‚ Lilian Ngoyi‚ Rahima Moosa and Dorothy Nyembe… We must think about the struggles of these women. We must not think about ourselves‚” Dlamini said.

Dlamini conceded that Madikizela-Mandela could have led the ANC if she got support from within.

“Mam’ Winnie could have been the president of the country. It is because when she was nominated‚ when we were in North West‚ we were yet to be brave. Now we are brave. We know that Charlotte Maxeke could have been the president of the country…‚” said Dlamini.

Earlier‚ Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema spoke about the same issue saying there was no reason for Madikizela-Mandela not to have become president of the ANC.

“Winnie Mandela [was] a stone that was rejected by the builders. Winnie Mandela [was] the president we did not have…who was denied to be president on the basis that she is a female and African. They feared her. Even today‚ they still fear her in death that is why they continue to call her names…But the masses know the truth‚” Malema said after visiting the bereaved family.

The masses gathered outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home for most of the day only began to disperse late on Tuesday afternoon after heavy rain.

Madikizela-Mandela died on Monday at the age of 81.

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