Be true to yourselves as Winnie was, says grandson
Plan to turn Winnie’s Brandfort home into museum back on track
YOU could have been fooled into thinking the sight of the EFF and the ANC singing in unison was a harbinger of a reunion. A view from atop the packed Orlando Stadium must have resembled the colours of the national flag. The reds seated with ANC members in yellow and green was quite a sight to see.
But as the singing gained momentum and the stadium filled up with red, green and yellow, the colours of both parties, the competition heated up.
EFF members made sure they were as audible as their sea of red was visible. At times, they led the singing, with ANC members following.
There was booing in the red groups every time the names of the ANC leaders were announced. The boos were especially loud for former president Jacob Zuma. But when EFF leader Julius Malema took to the podium he made a point of ensuring the reds understood that booing at the president of the country would be directly disrespecting Mama Winnie Madikizela-mandela.
He acknowledged President Cyril Ramaphosa, former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki and ANC alliance and league partners, but ignored Zuma.
Madikizela-mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela relayed the family’s praise name to much ululation and urged women and men to continue the legacy.
“The story lives on in all the women who wake up every day carving a life for themselves.
“I hope to tell the story of a hero of the people, she was one of us, she was one of you, she dared to continue when the entire world conspired against her, she stood tall,” he said.
Zukiswa Madikizela, Winnie’s sister, encouraged women to help their communities. “In a society that constantly tells women ‘no you can’t’, you can.”
Zondwa added:” To be a hero you only need to be yourself. I hope you remember that she was as herself, Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-mandela, the daughter and mother of the nation. We celebrate and honour her.”
The grandchildren put brave faces on for their grandmother, whom they called “Big Mummy”.
A particularly touching tribute came from Madikizela-mandela’s long-time friend and confidante, Mrs Mokgobo, who described her contributions to social work as revolutionary.
“We owe you so much, your deep understanding of the need to revolutionise social work remains an imperative.
“You told us to free ourselves from the slave mentality and you taught us to be in the trenches with the people.”
Supermodel Naomi Campbell spoke about what Madikizela-mandela meant to her, adding: “She taught us not to be limited in our movements, reminding us always to stay true to who we are.” The ANC’S national executive committee (NEC) will ensure that the redevelopment of Winnie Madikizela-mandela’s Brandfort home as a museum will not be botched again.
This was the pledge by NEC member Siyabonga Cwele, who has been tasked by the party’s highest decision-making body to oversee the reconstruction of her home, a project which is 12 years behind schedule.
Cwele blamed the failures on the previous contractor, the Independent Development Trust, which he said did shoddy work on the site.
Madikizela-mandela was banished to Brandfort by the apartheid regime between 1977 and 1986.
“Now we have a new contractor. All that is left is to meet with Comrade Winnie’s family and brief them on the final plans. If they say we should go ahead, we will be ready to start the work,” Cwele said.
“And, as the political overseeing body in the Free State, we will make sure that the legacy of Mama Winnie will live on,” he said.
Cwele said the previous contractor’s agreement was terminated two years ago.
On Wednesday, the Department of Arts and Culture announced that a new contractor for the project had been appointed.
Department spokesperson Asanda Magaqa said Risimati Consulting Engineers had entered into an agreement on March 13 and that the last consultation meeting between the department and Risimati took place on April 7.
“But I hope that every women of this country, including the generations to come, will know about Winnie Madikizela-mandela, who was able, during the last century and this one, to embrace womanhood.
“Winnie embraced womanhood at its best, in terms of the image of a leader. She will never be forgotten,” Magaqa added.