3 April 2018

Africa: Liberia Consoles South Africa's Over Loss of Winnie Mandela

Photo: African National Congress/Flickr
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on her 78th birthday (file photo).

Monrovia — Liberia has joined the rest of the world in paying tribute to the people of South Africa over the loss of one of the most visible faces of the apartheid era, Madam Winnie Madikezela-Mandela

In a message of consolation Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa, of South Africa, following the unfortunate demise of Madam Mandela, President Weah described the fallen icon as one of South Africa's strongest advocates.

Family spokesman Victor Dlamini said Mrs. Mandela, who was once married to late President Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa, succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones, following a long illness, which had seen her go in and out of hospital since the start of 2018.

Madam Madikizela-Mandela, who was born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape - then known as Transkei, was a trained social worker when she met her future husband in the 1950s. They went on to have two daughters together.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Liberian Leader told his South African counterpart, "On behalf of the Government and People of Liberia and in my own name, I extend to you and through Your Excellency, the Government and People of the Republic of South Africa, especially the bereaved families, our heartfelt condolences for the irreparable loss sustained."

President Weah prayed that the Almighty God will grant President Ramaphosa and the People of South Africa strength, courage and fortitude as they endure this period of national mourning.

The fallen icon is widely remembered for keeping the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces."

During her husband's 27-year incarceration, Madikizela-Mandela campaigned for his release and for the rights of black South Africans, suffering years of detention, banishment and arrest by the white authorities.

In 1977, she was banished to a remote town, Brandfort, where neighbors were forbidden to speak to her. She was banned from meeting with more than one person at a time.

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