Brandfort museum in NEC focus
THE ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) would see to it that the development of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s Brandfort home into a museum was not botched again, committee member Siyabonga Cwele has pledged.
He has been tasked by the party’s highest decision-making body to oversee the reconstruction, which is 12 years behind schedule. Speaking on the sidelines of the late icon’s funeral at Orlando Stadium in Soweto yesterday, he blamed the failure on the previous contractor, the Independent Development Trust, which he said had done shoddy work on the site. Madikizela-Mandela was banished to Brandfort by the apartheid regime from 1977 to 1986.
“Now we have a new contractor. All that’s left is to meet with comrade Winnie’s family and brief them on the final plan,” Cwele said. “We will make sure the legacy of Mama Winnie lives on.”
On Wednesday, the Department of Arts and Culture announced the appointment of a new contractor. Departmental spokesperson Asanda Magaqa said Risimati Consulting Engineers had entered into an agreement with the department on March 13, with the last consultation meeting taking place on April 7.
Also on the sideline of the funeral, Brigalia Bam, an internationally renowned gender and social activist and former chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, urged women, who face tougher challenges than Madikizela-Mandela’s generation, to use her as a lodestar in dismantling patriarchy and advancing gender equality.
“Women of today have harder challenges because they have to be multiskilled, still be mothers, nurture other people and compete in the job market.
“The tradition has always been that women should be at home taking care of the children – not competing with men at the workplace,” Bam said.
“But I hope 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.” – Khaya Koko