Winnie Mandela: ‘Her leadership guided us to the dawn of democracy’

History will record,that Icon Winnie Mandela,was one of the most pivotal women of the 20th century. Her death robs South Africa of an extraordinary person, a woman passionate about her politics. She was a political l giant who brought equality out of the Ivory Tower and into peoples lives. Her espoused policies was intellectually of the highest order but combined with a profound sense of compassion and justice. She was a tireless agitator for a better world. We have lost a true “titan” and a living “immortal” in one.

When democracy came into being, she went on to live a long and distinguished life of honour, duty, selfless service and distinction. There is far more to the story of this great woman than just her efforts, as gallant and indispensable as they were during the fight against apartheid.

A precious jewel of South Africa departed this world, like the star of the morning.

Winnie Mandela guided us to the dawning of democracy and valiantly fought to improve the lot of the working poor.
All over the land those who believed in the democratic freedoms, and in the right of of the masses to live free and unfetterd lives, are missing her today. Her absence robs humankind of its greatest champion. History will accord her a place alongside the very few truly great women who have combined ability and leadership along with a very definite understanding of the problems of the very little men and women of the world. She will be remembered and eulogised as a leader and will occupy a place of honour in the hearts of her people, supporters, friends and associates across this nation.

We grope for words and intelligent thoughts with which to express the grief which overwhelms us, the terrible sense of loss which grips our very being, the aching void which will not be filled. It was her firm stand that had brought us to victory over the enemies of free people the world over. It was this same wise leadership and her nobility of purpose that had contrived a pattern, carefully, patiently and painstakingly fashioned, for creating a world in which people of goodwill everywhere would strive earnestly to settle their problems without resort to force and arms.

The world goes on and pauses only briefly for the passing from the stage of a great woman. Winnie Manela’s indomitable heart and irrestible spirit are with us yet, and they will not perish.

As long as we belong to the family of humanity, we shall live and we shall die. We shall produce great leaders, and lose them. We shall see ‘IRREPLACEABLE’ giants lay down the burdern, and we shall replace them. Todays writers will soon forget the fulsome praise that writers throughout South Africa are heaping upon the casket of the dead, but history will accord, and future generations will remember the name of Winnie Mandela.

FAROUK ARAIE
JOHANNESBURG

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