MaSisulu was a woman of for­ti­tude

Vuk'uzenzele - - Sport, Agretnser&aclulture -

WHILE im­por­tant strides have been made re­gard­ing the eman­ci­pa­tion of women, South Africa still needs women of for­ti­tude like Al­bertina Sisulu.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Jeff Radebe has called on women to draw strength from the life and legacy of Mama Al­bertina Sisulu.

“Mama Sisulu was… in her own right an ac­tivist for the to­tal lib­er­a­tion of our peo­ple from the yoke of apartheid and eman­ci­pa­tion of women,” Radebe said re­cently.

He was speak­ing in his ca­pac­ity as the chair­per­son of the In­terMin­is­te­rial Com­mit­tee on the Cen­te­nar­ies of Mama Sisulu and Pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela.

The event to mark MaSisulu’s 100th year birth­day was held at the Holy Cross Angli­can Church in Or­lando, Soweto.

Born on 21 Oc­to­ber 1918, the lib­er­a­tion hero­ine passed away peace­fully at home in Linden Jo­han­nes­burb on 5 June 2011.

Radebe praised MaSisulu for hav­ing waged a re­lent­less strug­gle for po­lit­i­cal free­dom and the eman­ci­pa­tion of women.

“When we say Mama Sisulu is a woman of for­ti­tude, it is pre­cisely be­cause of the hard­ships she en­dured to raise her voice against the apartheid tyranny.”

Radebe added that while democ­racy has made im­por­tant strides the eman­ci­pa­tion of women is still un­fin­ished busi­ness.

“Women of for­ti­tude, im­bokodo, are women who must fear­lessly fight for the rad­i­cal so­cio-eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion of our coun­try.”

Radebe also called on young peo­ple, both male and fe­male, to learn from the life­long stew­ard­ship of Mama Sisulu and her gen­er­a­tion, who re­lent­lessly fought for free­dom and democ­racy.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Nomvula Mokonyane de­scribed MaSisulu as a woman who had a vi­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

“She was strong and her views were al­ways re­spected. She had the de­ter­mi­na­tion and courage to fight the apartheid gov­ern­ment," said Min­is­ter Mokonyane. The com­mem­o­ra­tion of MaSisulu’s 100th year started with a visit to the ceme­tery where she and her hus­band, Wal­ter Sisulu, are buried. Fam­ily mem­bers laid a wreath, along with Radebe, who laid one on be­half of gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple of South Africa. The cer­e­mony was at­tended by se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, fam­ily mem­bers and politi­cians.

From the ceme­tery, guests pro­ceeded to the church, where a ser­vice was con­ducted in hon­our of MaSisulu.

Con­gre­gant Cyn­thia Tha­bethe, said she learnt a lot from MaSisulu. “I ad­mired her courage. She was not afraid of any­thing. She groomed us as young women to be strong for our fam­i­lies,” she said.

From the church, guests pro­ceeded to a nearby crèche that MaSisulu helped to es­tab­lish. She also as­sisted with pro­vid­ing food for the chil­dren. The crèche has been ren­o­vated and now has 37 chil­dren.

Guests then pro­ceeded to a nearby li­brary es­tab­lished for chil­dren and a clinic where MaSisulu worked for many years.

Al­bertina Sisulu played an in­te­gral role in the strug­gle for lib­er­a­tion.

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