Condolences for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s family have poured in from across the continent, with Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari describing the struggle stalwart’s passing as “a huge loss to Africa” and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta remembering her as “a heroine and a liberator”.
The AU chief described her as a “fearless campaigner who sacrificed much of her life for freedom in South Africa”.
The struggle icon died on Monday at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.
“She never relented in her struggle or wavered in her commitment, despite imprisonment, banishment, and decades-long seperation from her then husband Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment,” Mahamat said.
“Winnie Madikazela-Mandela paved the way for women in the struggle to end apartheid, and fought relentlessly for their rights and welfare in her country.”
President Buhari noted that she was a woman of uncommon determination, steadfastness and perseverance who held aloft the torch of the struggle against institutionalised discrimination even while her ex-husband, the late Madiba, President Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.
President Buhari, on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, commiserated with the family of the deceased, the government and people of South Africa, urging them to be consoled by the knowledge that the late Winnie Mandela’s contributions to ending apartheid will not be forgotten.
According to him, she remained a pride not only to the African woman, but indeed all Africans.
The president of Ghana, Akuffo Addo marked her as a “remarkable woman”. “I’m deeply saddened by the news of the death of Winnie Mandela. Her name will echo down the ages, and will forever be remembered as a freedom fighter and a fearless and remarkable woman. Rest in perfect peace Mama Wetu. You’ve earned it.”
Madikizela-Mandela was awarded a lifetime achievement award in 2017 from the African Union Commission.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has also paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela.
Kenyatta said that Africans should emulate the struggle icon.
Several other African heads of state, including Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, have also paid tributes.
This evening, I learned that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had left us. The news is saddening, for we have lost a heroine and a liberator.– Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) April 2, 2018
May her courage inspire us to make the most of the liberty she won for us; may her family be comforted by the memory of her heroic life; and may she rest in perpetual peace.– Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) April 2, 2018
Very sorry to hear about the death of comrade Winnie Mandela. I salute her contribution to the resistance in South Africa, especially during the time Mzee Mandela was in prison.– Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) April 2, 2018
Former President of Ghana, John Mahama remembers her as “…a bold fighter and champion of female empowerment…”
“Sad to note the passing of yet another African icon. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela served her nation, South Africa, her people and Africa well. She will be remembered for her active fight on the side of Nelson Mandela and his compatriots against apartheid