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On the passing of Winnie Nomazamo Madikizela-Mandela

A gigantic tree has fallen
By Frank Chapman |
April 4, 2018
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Winnie Nomazamo Madikizela-Mandela
Winnie Nomazamo Madikizela-Mandela

“…even in the deepest moments of our struggle for liberation Mama Winnie was an abiding symbol of our people to be free…” -- Cyril Ramaphosa, president of the Republic of South Africa.

Winnie Nomazamo Madikizela-Mandela, an icon and a great woman-warrior in the South African freedom struggle joined the ancestors April 2, 2018 at the age of 81. We send our heartfelt condolences to the family, comrades in the liberation movement and the people of South Africa. We solemnly dip our banners of struggle, saluting this freedom fighter, this stalwart and icon of African liberation, this dedicated revolutionary. As they say in Africa: “A gigantic tree has fallen.”

When Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for defying the fascist, apartheid regime, Winnie said: “Part of my soul went with him.” The other part of her soul and her heart stayed with the struggle against apartheid and against those racist monsters who ruled South Africa.

When they arrested her and tortured her she cried out in defiance: “When you strike a woman, you strike a rock.” And for all those years she was banned, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the U.S. and around the world stood in unconditional solidarity with Winnie, demanding her freedom. We loved her and supported her through all those trials and tribulations and never doubted for a minute her dedication. She endured years of being banned and 27 years of forced separation from her husband Nelson Mandela, and she never faltered, never flinched one time in the face of the enemy.

As a revolutionary internationalist, Winnie Nomazamo Madikizela-Mandela was a comrade and sister to all progressive humanity and we will always hold dear her legacy and memory in hearts as we continue to fight for freedom.