Observer on Saturday - - News -

CAPE TOWN - Win­nie Madik­izela - Man­dela and Thandi Modise car­ried guns on their first day in Par­lia­ment as MPs‚ Modise has re­vealed.

The rev­e­la­tion was made on Thurs­day dur­ing a trib­ute by ANC MPs to the late strug­gle icon and for­mer so­cial devel­op­ment min­is­ter Zola Sk­weyiya‚ who passed away shortly af­ter Madik­izela Man­dela.

“Some of us said: Do you have gun safes? Be­cause there was no rule that said you can­not walk into this place with­out a gun‚” Modise said in a video clip that was tweeted on Thurs­day by ANC spokesper­son in Par­lia­ment Non­ceba Mh­lauli.

Modise‚ who is cur­rently the Chair­per­son of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Prov­inces‚ said Madik­izela-Man­dela was a “tow­er­ing fig­ure of our life­time‚ a piv­otal woman of our his­tory”. Snip­pets of her trib­ute were posted on the Twit­ter ac­count of the ANC in Par­lia­ment.

“When chal­lenges came‚ she took the reins of lead­er­ship even though our chil­dren in the streets of Soweto were out­num­bered‚” Modise said.

“Like Deb­o­rah in the bi­ble‚ her ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment was stead­fast. Her ded­i­ca­tion to the strug­gle against apartheid and pa­tri­archy has al­ways been un­shak­able. She hated poverty‚ that is why she never made money.”

For­mer safety and se­cu­rity min­is­ter Charles Nqakula paid trib­ute to Sk­weyiya. He said he and his wife had vis­ited Sk­weyiya in hos­pi­tal in the in­ten­sive care unit about six weeks be­fore he died.

“I want to apol­o­gise to com­rade Zola‚ even at this late stage‚ that some mem­bers of the ANC de­fined him‚ and some other veter­ans of our strug­gle‚ as ‘so­called veter­ans’‚ ‘empty tins’. Those who have been in the ANC for a long time know com­rade Zola‚” Nqakula said.

“Com­rade Zola was ac om­mit­ted mem­ber of Umkhon­towe Sizwe and fully un­der­stood and sub­scribed to MK’s mil­i­tary code.

ARMED: Thandi Modise.

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