South Africa: Albertina Sisulu Honoured With Commemorative Stamp

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has called on the South African Post Office (Sapo) to digitise the newly launched centenary commemorative stamp of struggle icon Albertina Sisulu.

"We have seen the interest that South Africans and people outside the country have shown in the stamps. They are selling... because people relate to the work that she did and [admire] the values and the principles she stood for," Ndabeni-Abrahams said.

The Minister on Tuesday launched the centenary commemorative stamp of Mama Albertina Sisulu and handed it over to her family at the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) auditorium in Tshwane.

In November 2018, Cabinet resolved that a Commemorative Stamp for Mama Sisulu should be issued in honour of her centenary birthday, and in recognition of the significant and selfless role that she played in the country's liberation.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said the launch of the commemorative stamp presents an opportunity to keep the story of Sisulu alive.

"It's never too late to honour those that have been an inspiration in our lives because we come from areas where there have been women who have not been recognised," the Minister said.

The National Integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy White Paper provides that a commemorative stamp may be issued to celebrate, amongst others, heroes and heroines who played a significant role in South Africa's history, political landscape and those who contributed to its socio-economic development.

Sapo board member Phetole Rabohale said the stamps can be used for posting standard letters.

"We considered it appropriate to celebrate our mother, the stalwart who fought for our freedom and democracy, through an ordinary stamp which an ordinary citizen can buy and use for postal services.

"We have printed more than 100 000 sheets of the stamp and already most of the stamps have been sold. We hope that Ma Sisulu's stamps will eventually become collectors' items," Rabohale said.

Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana said the commemorative stamp is a continuation of government's efforts to honour and celebrate the legacy of Sisulu.

"We create such endeavors so that young girls can know and learn that our history is a gendered history. The narrative of our liberation is not only history but there's also 'her-story' and it counts just as much.

"We hope that this stamp will be the first of many to come. Many women should be celebrated [as heroines]," Kekana said.

Sisulu's grandson, Duma Sisulu, said his grandmother felt a deep seated responsibility to create a better future for all.

"Gogo embraced the many challenges that were part of being Walter Sisulu's wife, a freedom fighter in her own right. She never lost sight of the vision of a free and democratic South Africa," Duma said.

He thanked government for honouring his late grandmother with the commemorative stamp.

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