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Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela has passed on and we shall soldier on.

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Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela has passed on and we shall soldier on.

NUM Press Statement, 03 April  2018

Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela has passed on and we shall soldier on.

It is with great sadness to learn of the passing on of the great mother and heroin comrade Winnifred Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela. Sadly and inevitably the Tower has fallen.This Pylon of our struggle lies silent though revolutionary to the finish.This tower of women strength was not an ivory tower of the biblical sense. She was a tower of working-class hope and strife. For the people of Bradford, Orange Farm, Kliptown, and many more destitute areas. She turned a junkyard into semblances of hope true to her profession and revolutionary conviction.  

Mama Madikizela could choose to live in wealth like many she shared trenches with. But she chose to live amongst those swimming at the shores of the breadline: the destitute, the indigent and that majority who wriggle along the margins of the democratic status quo in the townships and rural areas. She refused to be courted by the distance to live high off the hog. She chose Soweto and cut a peculiar figure in the history of the National Democratic Revolution.She endured isolation to speak truth to power.

In this sad moment, we wish to count her amongst the flock but there is too little to choose from to match her. This is not to discount the likes of Lilian Ngoyi, Francis Baard, Albertina Sisulu, Adelaide Tambo, Sophie De Bruin, and some whose characters converged in her to shape her wit, fearlessness, and persistence. In the face of institutional patriarchy and racist brutality.

We salute her out of sadness and honour for having interfaced with her when she led ANC Women`s League. Upon interfacing with Mama Madikizela and Angie Motshekga as Presidents of the Women `s League respectively the Progressive Women`s Movement became a reality to challenge the gender question in a true sense. The working class gender struggle has been the light of women in Cosatu ever since.

Mama Winnie, we love you, we salute you, and you honour you. We continue to be graced by your influence and in us, you live more. We shall continue to wage a working-class gender struggle as you taught us. We shall celebrate you in changing the working and living conditions of the poor women at the shop floor.We promise to remain loyal to the struggle of vulnerable women trapped in squalor than creep into the elite schemes seeking equity in boardrooms for self-preservation than radical socio-economic emancipation.

For more information, please contact:

Mummy Nomvulazana Jafta: NUM National Coordinator for Women and Youth: 079 699 0615


7 Rissik Street.

Cnr Frederick,

Johannesburg  2001

Tel: 011 377 2111



Twitter: @Num Media    


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About Us
The National Union of Mineworkers was founded in 1982.

Its birth was facilitated by comrades Cyril Ramaphosa who rose to be its first General Secretary, James Motlatsi who turned to be its first President, and Elijah Barayi who became its Vice President and later the President of Cosatu in 1985 when the federation was formed. porn