Hansard: JS: Unrevised hansard
House: Joint (NA + NCOP)
Date of Meeting: 03 May 2018
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 3 MAY 2018
PROCEEDINGS AT JOINT SITTING
Members of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces assembled in the Chamber of the National Assembly at 14:00.
The Speaker of the National Assembly took the Chair.
The Speaker of the National Assembly requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The SPEAKER: Hon members and guests, the Presiding Officers had called the Joint Sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in terms of Joint Rule 7(2), to pay tributes to Dr Zola Sidney Themba Skweyiya, former Minister
of Social Development and Ms Nomzamo Winfred Madikizela–Mandela, MP.
We would like to acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Mrs Thuthukile Skweyiya and members of the Skweyiya family, and Ms Zindziswa Mandela and members of the Madikizela-Mandela family.
We welcome you and thank you for honouring us with your presence today. [Applause.]
I believe we also have members of the ministerial review panel gracing us with their presence. Are they here? [Interjections.] Okay, we’ll acknowledge them once they’ve arrived.
TRIBUTES TO THE LATE DR ZOLA SIDNEY THEMBA SKWEYIYA, FORMER MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, AND MS NOMZAMO WINFRED MADIKIZELA–MANDELA, MP
The CHIEF WHIP OF THE NCOP: Hon Speaker of the National Assembly, hon Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon President and Deputy President in absentia, distinguished
members of the Skweyiya and Mandela families, hon leaders of parties, special delegates, the Chief Whip of the Majority Party, comrades and compatriots.
The month of April 2018 will go down in the annals of our history as one of the most painful and darkest for the ANC and the people of South Africa at large with the loss of two titans of our revolution, Comrade Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela and Comrade Zola Themba Skweyiya. We assemble in this special Joint Sitting to celebrate the lives of these two revolutionary titans of our movement.
According to the Order of the day, my task is to pay the last tribute to the late Comrade Zola Skweyiya, affectionately known as uBaba Zola by young and old in our movement.
Allow me to start my contribution in this debate on a very personal note about the Comrade Zola Skweyiya that I have come to know. I started to interact closely with Comrade Zola during the second term of Parliament as a one of the MPs serving in the national executive committee of the Youth League. My initial
impression of him was that he was such a serious and difficult character who does not easily open up to political conversation, especially with young comrades. As I later learned more about him, my initial impressions about him were proven wrong.
His unassuming character, simplicity and precision of articulation of thought created a false image of him as an aloof character with a disposition of arrogance. Greater proximity to him revealed the character of a caring father, a comrade, a leader with attentive listening skills who could listen even to issues with which he did not agree, and a revolutionary cadre of outstanding qualities who became a source of inspiration to many, young and old, in our movement. This is the Zola Skweyiya that I later knew and understood.
He always cautioned that, as members of the ANC Youth League, we should not be the lapdogs of the ANC, but rather be critical of its reinvigoration.
Having said this, allow me to join millions of South Africans and the rest of the peace-loving democrats in the international
community to express heartfelt condolences to the family of this giant of our struggle. As we lower our banners in this fitting tribute, we do so with a profound sense of appreciation to his family for their generosity in sharing the life of their father and husband with the African National Congress.
There is no better way of describing the rare qualities of Comrade Zola Skweyiya than in the manner President Cyril Ramaphosa has put it:
In a world that is riven by conflict and greed, we were comforted to have living among us a person like Zola Skweyiya.
To many of those who worked with him, his death has sounded a clarion call that summoned us to war, and to redouble our efforts against poverty, unemployment, inequality and all forms of social deprivation.
He will be remembered for his forthrightness on matters of principle. The Zola Skweyiya I came to know was indeed a man of
principle, a leader of impeccable integrity, who never wavered to take the side of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable. He was a selfless and fearless combatant for a better life for all, a visionary and a revolutionary intellectual who always placed a high premium on the experiences of the masses as a source of defining the urgent tasks of the revolution at each given epoch.
The dialectical relationship between the masses and the mass party of revolution as decisive factors critical to the victory of the national democratic revolution was one of the defining hallmarks of revolutionary outlook. Fundamental to this was the understanding that, critical to the victory of the national democratic revolution are not leaders and parties, but the masses under the correct leadership of a mass party of revolution.
To this end, Comrade Zola would always ask two interrelated questions on the discussions of policy and strategy: What are the people saying or feeling about this, and how is it going to materially change the conditions of the people? He was indeed a
precious treasure at the service of the people for freedom, peace and justice.
We stand here today emboldened in our convictions that his was a life that was well lived, a life inseparable from the trials and tribulations, and the joys and sorrows of the masses till the end. The African National Congress has lost a giant in you, Comrade Zola, a cadre of unquestionable loyalty and dedication to the revolution.
This doyen of our revolution belonged to a special generation of our movement, the death-defying generation of the Luthuli detachment that inspired successive generations of youth to take the war right to the doorsteps of the enemy at the time when the racist minority regime took refuge behind the triggers of guns to consolidate their illegitimate grip on power. We talk here about the courageous and militant young revolutionaries of our movement, most of whom lost their lives in the line of duty, whilst others continued to keep the flames of revolution burning.
These are the likes of comrades Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, Barney Molokwane, Benjamin Moloise, Ashley Kriel, Vuyo Charles, Simphiwe Mthimkulu, Bheki Mlangeni, Ephraim Mogale, Peter Mokaba, Parks Mankahlana, and many more.
It will be an injustice to history if I do not mention how the ANC youth sections played a critical role in connecting us with the generation of comrade Zola Skweyiya.
We stand here today to bid farewell to Zola Skweyiya at a time when Oliver Tambo is no more to share with us the special attributes that attracted him to appoint Zola Skweyiya as one of the leading architects of the ANC’s constitutional guidelines for a postapartheid democratic South Africa. The celebration of South Africa’s Constitution by the international community as being among the best vindicates Oliver Tambo’s choice of Zola Skweyiya for this special assignment which he discharged with distinction.
Comrade Zola, we have learned from your own teachings and exemplary conduct that leadership is not about the comfort and
prestige of an elected office, but about having the courage of conviction to connect with the masses and act as their voice when it matters most. You leave us at a time when the revolutionary movement to which you dedicated your entire life is at a critical crossroads. This crossroads is a midwife of only two possibilities: recovery and renewal, or a road to self- destruction.
As you were there to witness the birth pains of this recovery and renewal, we are confident that, as you ceased to breathe, you did so confident that this movement has indeed entered a new dawn that breaks ranks with the past to address the urgent tasks of unity, employment and education.
Be assured that the tempo and gravitas of this recovery have shattered the myth of those who have penned millions of obituaries about this movement of the people, the African National Congress.
This made some to slumber in the false sense of comfort that the weaknesses and setbacks of this movement are permanent and a
God-given gift to them as the ultimate choice of the people of South Africa. This false sense of comfort has been proven wrong by history as some are going through unprecedented internal turbulences.
For our part, the urgent task is to emulate your legacy by consolidating the unity, recovery and renewal of our movement for the battles ahead. In doing this, we occupy the public space as torchbearers of truth, even if doing so coincides with the enemy as you have done in your entire life.
As we embark on this arduous and difficult journey, we will always remember your usual precision and yet critical disposition towards fundamental questions of revolutionary theory and practice. We are aware of the fact that, were you to be alive today, we would not have escaped the wrath of your critical challenge to define the meaning of this new dawn for the lives of ordinary South Africans.
Hon members, the new dawn represents continuity and change in the ongoing struggle for the victory of the national democratic
revolution guided by the fundamental vision of the African National Congress as articulated in the Freedom Charter and other policy perspectives. Critical to this new dawn is the declaration by our movement of this current phase of transition as a phase of radical socioeconomic transformation.
What is radical socioeconomic transformation? Is it a new policy shift in the ANC or continuity? By radical socioeconomic transformation, we reaffirm the historic vision of the ANC as articulated in the 1969 ANC Morogoro conference, and I quote:
In our country, more than in any other part of the oppressed world, it is inconceivable for liberation to have meaning without a return of the wealth of the land to the people as a whole.
It is therefore a fundamental feature of our strategy that victory must embrace more than formal political democracy. To allow the existing economic forces to retain their interests intact is to feed the root of racial supremacy and does not represent even the shadow of liberation. Our
drive towards national emancipation is therefore in a very real way bound up with economic emancipation.
We have reaffirmed this perspective at each given epoch of our revolution with different emphasis. The resolution of the 54th ANC national conference on the expropriation of land without compensation is the culmination of the evolution of the ANC’s perspective on radical socioeconomic transformation.
Our approach to this question through the constitutional framework is based on the international best practice to ensure that this land expropriation is done within the limits of the law. We do this to defend your legacy as one of the leading architects of the vision of our constitutional dispensation.
Part of this legacy is to ensure that this radical socioeconomic transformation does not become an elite pact, but should benefit the overwhelming majority of our people.
Comrade Zola has demonstrated unquestionable loyalty and dedication to the African National Congress throughout his life by serving the ANC wherever it has deemed it fit to deploy him.
He never sought to be in the Top Six of the ANC through thick and thin in order to lay claim to leadership. He knew that a leader is not defined by their office, but by a selflessness to serve the masses and by a clarity of vision.
Despite his outstanding academic achievements – which were, of course, outstanding – he displayed the highest disdain for a bookish approach to fundamental questions of theory and practice of the revolution by always seeking to be at the level of the masses, learning from them and leading side by side with them.
This was particularly pronounced when he pioneered the policy on the child support grant where he transcended narrow ideological positions to put our people first.
Comrade Zola, successive generations of South Africans will emulate your legacy for many years to come and be assured of our resolve to keep this legacy alive. Aluta!
Hon MEMBERS: Continua!
Mr S MOKGALAPA: Hon Speaker, on behalf of the DA ... [Interjections.] All right, let’s restart. On behalf of the DA allow me to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr Skweyiya, as well as the ANC. Words cannot express enough the loss you have suffered, a man with impeccable struggle credentials and a distinguished academic career. The giant of the struggle.
Born as Zola Sidney Skweyiya in April 14th in 1942 in Simon’s Town, he went to school in Port Elizabeth and Retreat in Cape Town and matriculated from Lovedale School in Alice in 1960. He became an ANC student activist during his studies at Fort Hare University where he mobilised for uMkhonto weSizwe. He joined the ANC in 1956 until his exile to Tanzania. He also underwent military training in Russia. In 1978 the ANC deployed him to Germany to study law where he obtained an LLD degree.
He was later deployed as a representative of the ANC and was responsible for setting up offices of the ANC in Addis Ababa in 1981. He later was tasked to head the ANC legal and constitutional department in Lusaka until 1990 and in
Johannesburg until 1994. On his return from exile he was the chair of the ANC constitutional committee and served as the national executive committee, NEC, member until 2012.
He also served the new democratic South African government as first Minister of Public Service and Administration under President Mandela, from 1994 to 1999 and served again as Minister of Social Development from 1999 to 2009 under President Mbeki. UBaba Zola played a significant role in South Africa’s democratic dispensation with active participation in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, Codesa, and he represented the ANC at the United Nations Human Rights Council, UNHRC, between 1984 and 1993.
He was an astute member of military veterans. They indeed have lost a gallant soldier. He was an intellectual who contributed to founding the Centre for Development Studies and SA Legal Defence Fund at the University of the Western Cape. UBaba Zola Skweyiya was also an astute diplomat who made an impact as the Head of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation, Unesco’s, Management of Social Transformations Programme, and President of the Intergovernmental Council.
He also participated in the United Nations Commission for Social Development, making a significant contribution in this multilateral forum and flying the South African flag high as a diplomat par excellence. His contribution in Unesco is well documented. He also played a key role in the University of Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention, assisting in the programme for poverty eradication and building quality evidence-based social policy research and training.
His memorial lectures from 2011 to 2015, were hosted by the centre for the analysis of SA Social Policy in recognition of his contributions as Minister of Social Development. He was significantly a High Commissioner and Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2009 to 2014, where he made his mark as a patriotic and skilled diplomat, championing the bilateral relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom.
He also made a significant contribution with regards to multilateral relations when he was appointed as a special envoy to the Middle East conflict in 2014 where he worked tirelessly to finding a resolution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He held talks with both sides of the conflict, showing how impartial and diplomatic he was, using soft diplomacy as his strongest and greatest attribute.
Hon members, let us all learn from this humanitarian, intellectual and exceptional diplomat who prioritised the wellbeing of South Africa and its people. This is the kind of diplomat that South Africa needs to put Brand SA on the global map. He had courage to speak truth to power and was vocal against wrongdoing and deviation from principles and values. We as the DA, salute him for his bravery. Rest in peace, son of the soil!
Go mokgathlo wa ANC, rona re le mokgathlo wa DA ra re gomotsegang. Modimo o ne a neile mme o boile o tsere. A mowa wa
rre Skweyiya o robale ka kagiso. Moganka wa diganka. Modimo a go tshegofatse. Isithwalandwe! Ke a leboga.
Mr G A GARDEE: Madam Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, we acknowledge the presence of the families of Dr Skweyiya and Mam Winnie Madikizela Mandela, President and Commander-in-Chief of the EFF, our Deputy President, deputy secretary-general, DSG, public representatives of the EFF and members of the House, quite a number of spears do fall and it is not only all of them that must be picked up. Very few are worth to be picked up and that of Dr Skweyiya is amongst those very few privileged spears that if they have fallen, they need to be picked up.
Dr Skweyiya demonstrated his commitment to clean public service as the first Minister of Public Service and Administration in 1994. He appointed the Judge White Commission which dealt with frivolous promotions on the eve of the democratic dispensation - promotions which were found in most of the homeland administration. People who were constables on the eve of the 27 April were made generals and all that. And he did implement
those recommendations of the Judge White Commission. He also led the amalgamation of almost more than 10 public services and administration of the homelands into a single public administration, including that of the nationalist party into one single public administration of the country. He inherited the public service sector that was racialised and highly politicised, as opposed to being people-centred and service delivery oriented.
He introduced the Batho Pele principles in 1997 in order to reorientate the public service to serve the public with dignity, respect and deliver the service to our people. It was him who actually appointed Prof Stan Sangweni. The Chief Whip of the ANC would know that the first fly-by-night PhD director-general was actually discovered by the Minister of Public Service, who then was Minister Skweyiya, together with Prof Stan Sangweni. And there were serious consequences then when he was the Public Service Minister, not today where there are absolutely no consequences for all shenanigans in the public service. If he was alive, he will be appalled at the pervasive culture of arrogance in the public service and the culture that politicians
have, feeling that they are entitled to be treated as kings and not as servants of the people.
He will be appalled by what is going on in the North West. I don’t see Premier Supra Mahumapelo here because that is the province where we find our people’s dignity being undermined. Old people in ANC t-shirts are being pushed in wheelbarrows from their homes and moved from one hospital to another. That is not what Dr Skweyiya would have agreed to as the Minister of Public Service because he knew that Batho Pele principles should be found everywhere in the public service. He will be appalled at the person of Supra himself and those who fight to keep him in power despite many of his shenanigans and his rejection by the people of North West, and by taking the money of the Department of Health and giving it to the Guptas, and the next thing we see our people being pushed in wheelbarrows to hospitals. We are saying that in the person of Dr Skweyiya, that will not have happened. He must be turning in his grave to actually hear and see the stories that we are telling you about today - the corruption that is found and the poor service we offer to our people.
He was part of the 101 veterans who were concerned about the degeneration in the ANC, and for this they were repeatedly mocked by Mr Zuma who questioned their struggle credentials. It is unfortunate that the President of the Republic is not here, we would have told him to his face to actually start the process of apologising to the remaining 99 stalwarts instead of waiting for them to die and thereafter posthumously apologise. To the family of Dr Skweyiya, his friends, his comrades in the ANC, particularly the stalwarts, we assure you that the loss is not yours alone. On our side, as the EFF, we commit ourselves to carry the spear and continue the fight for a just society for equality before the law, for equal redistribution of resources, for quality public health care, for free and quality education and for public service that is responsive to the needs of the citizen. To Dr Skweyiya we are saying, rest in peace soldier, rest in peace Mtakwenda, Leta, Solizembe, Kwangeshe, Tyebelendle. You have run your perfect race, may your soul rest in power and rise in glory. Amandla!
Mr M G BUTHELEZI: Hon Speaker, hon Deputy Speaker, hon Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon Ministers,
hon Deputy Ministers, hon members of the NCOP, hon members of the National Assembly, in May 1994, 37 South Africans became Ministers in the Cabinet of President Nelson Mandela. And according to the newspaper, the New York Times, it was stated about the Cabinet and I quote: “ ... an eclectic, even explosive, mix of personalities, backgrounds and styles that will challenge Mr Mandela’s promise to govern by consensus.” I was among that mix as Minister of Home Affairs and I found myself in the company of Dr Zola Sidney Themba Skweyiya, who had been appointed Minister of Public Service and Administration.
Over the course of the next 10 years, I had reason again and again to be grateful for his presence. Although we served in a government of national unity, I was made acutely aware of the fact that I was an IFP Minister in an ANC Cabinet. Indeed, our Minister of Foreign Affairs was none other than the hon Mr Afred Nzo, who for 14 years previously and has launched vicious campaign of vilification against me, declaring that, I would quote, “swept away onto the rubbish heap of history.” This was done despite the fact that he had been a member of the delegation Mr Oliver Tambo in a very cordial meeting of the ANC
and IFP in London, yet whenever my colleagues in the Cabinet attack my contributions on the basis of politics rather than merit, Mr Zola Skweyiya would tell you that you are being unfair to our colleague.
He had no fear of speaking up for principles. He was a man of integrity and a leader who was more interested in the good of his country than playing politics. He was one of the very few who was willing to say what needed to be said rather than what was expected to be said. That is a rare quality in politics. We saw this quality expressed again and again when Zola Skweyiya spoke out against the former President and the gaps of corruption that thrive under his leadership. It took courage for him to speak and the response must have caused him tremendous pain. I therefore applaud our President, Ramaphosa, for speaking so honestly at Dr Skweyiya’s funeral.
We thank the President for apologising on behalf of the ANC for disappointing Dr Skweyiya and for causing such distress to the veterans and stalwarts of the party. It is testimony of his character that Dr Skweyiya never stopped serving his country.
When he was appointed as an envoy at the palace of St James, I couldn’t think there was anyone equipped that he was.
While he is remembered as a Minister and the member of the ANC national executive committee, NEC, as our ambassador, and a champion of human rights, I would like to honour him for a less known position that he held. In 2011, Dr Skweyiya agreed himself on the board of directors of the Parliamentary Institute of South Africa, Pisa. Pisa was designed to bring together Members of Parliament outside of their political affiliation to share expertise and find solutions to the many problems besetting our country. It emanated out of the conviction that good people can and must come together irrespective of political views, raised responsibilities in society and origin. Within Pisa, leaders with both intellect and vision could find the courage to speak about ugly realities confronting South Africa without fearing immediate public relations consequences. There was no scoring of political points. No pointing fingers or making accusations.
There was only an exchange of ideas for the purpose of realising a means to find adequate remedies. Pisa allowed Members of Parliament to follow the dictates of their conscience without
having to toe party lines, to recite prepared political directives. What appealed to Dr Skweyiya is precisely because this allowed you to serve our country first than anything else.
It is tragic that Skweyiya’s passing was preceded by the passing of Pisa. To my mind, the best tribute that we as members of parliament could pay to our honourable colleague will be to establish the parliamentary institute, Pisa. In that way we will continue a legacy that must be honoured. On behalf of the IFP I send my deepest condolences to Her Excellency, Ambassador Thuthukile Skweyiya and the Skweyiya family and the Mazibuko family and to the ANC, the party that he served with such integrity. We have all suffered a tangible loss. Today I salute a freedom fighter and a peacemaker, as Christ our Lord said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Prof N M KHUBISA: Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the executive, and hon members, on behalf of the president of the NFP, the hon Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, the NFP caucus and the party as a whole, I wish to convey our
condolences to the family of Dr Skweyiya, former Minister of Social Development, former Minister of Public Service and Administration, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland, freedom fighter, true compatriot, visionary and true servant of the people.
The NFP conveys condolences to the ANC and all South Africans whose lives were touched and served by the rare breed of leadership epitomised by Dr Skweyiya. Before he passed away, he spoke out and expressed himself openly about his displeasure at things that were not going well in our country. Dr Skweyiya served this country with distinction whilst in exile and also within our borders. He left an indelible mark and unchallenged legacy as the architect of our Departments of Public Service and Administration and Social Development. His mind was always occupied with how best the people of South Africa could be served. He was head of the ANC’s constitutional development team during the negotiations for a democratic South Africa at Codesa. He will be remembered as the architect of the social security system, the child support grant, and the nutritional feeding scheme in early childhood Educare centres and primary schools.
He could indeed be referred to as the founder of the Batho Pele principles.
The nation therefore mourns the death of a true compatriot, a true servant of the people. He was instrumental in ensuring that our children were fed and poverty alleviated. That 17 million are recipients of social grants today is due to the hard work of Dr Skweyiya who worked tirelessly to ensure its firm foundation. Dr Skweyiya travelled all over the country, organising massive community meetings, registering people for pensions, the child support grant, the disability grant, the foster care grant, etc. He worked well with nonprofit organisations, nongovernmental organisations, community-based organisations, etc. His vision was that of a caring and a better South Africa. He was a policy guru, a legal eagle, and a gentle giant who truly loved this country. He was an academic and intellectual of note. He received a Doctor of Law degree from a university in Germany in 1978. He assisted in setting up the centre for development studies at the University of the Western Cape and the South African legal defence fund.
The passing on of Dr Skweyiya three days before his birthday has robbed this country of one of its finest and most respected sons, a freedom fighter, a selfless democrat, an icon and a struggle veteran.
Njenge-NFP sithi lala ngoxolo qhawe lamaqhawe. Ukulwile ukulwa okuhle, uligijimile ibanga, uyifezile inkonzo yakho, wawenza umsebenzi wakho owabe uwuthunyiwe ngumdali ngamandla wonke usekhona emhlabeni. Wawenza ngokuthembeka okukhulu nangokuzikhandla okumangalisayo. Siyohlala sikukhumbula ubeyisibonelo esihle sobuholi obuqotho. Uyibekile induku ebandla njengompostoli uPawula, ungasho nawe uthi ...
... we are waiting for the glory that the Lord has set for you.
Lala ngoxolo. Ngiyabonga.
Ms C N MAJEKE: Speaker, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, hon members, members of the Skweyiya and Mama Winnie Madikazela-Mandela families, good afternoon. An incredible thinker, a hard worker, an excellent and professional servant of the people of South Africa is no more. Our condolences go to the family of Dr Skweyiya, the friends, and the entire democratic movement led by the ANC.
The UDM says ...
... lala ngoxolo Bhuti Zola, Leta, Mtakwende.
The time had come for you to leave this world. You had run the race and finished the distance. In your professional capacity as Minister of Public Service and Administration, you were the great architect of the new public administration and a competent man who had been earnest about achieving the goals of a democratic Public Service. As Minister of Social Development, you were the driver of its transformation ethos and the social
security system that responded to the millions of the most vulnerable citizens. The almost 17 million beneficiaries of this system owe their sustenance to you.
The nation celebrates the extraordinary life you led as a remarkable person who devoted his life to peacefully protecting what we can all call our common home and future – South Africa. Your work stands as a testimony to the power of grassroots organising, that a community should come together inspired by a commitment to democracy, human rights, the eradication of poverty, and civic engagement. On the global stage, Dr Skweyiya was a pioneer in articulating the link between human rights, poverty, and security. He further advanced these objectives through his service in our democratic government.
You stood tall in all actions and said we must not tire, that we must not give up but persist. Your legacy will stand as an example to all of us to persist in our pursuit for progress. You leave behind a solid foundation for all of us to build upon.
Your history is inspiring, and we are proud to be associated with you and your deeds.
Your quality of intellect, passion for justice, and your deep desire for a better, fairer society were shone through everything you did. We have lost an extraordinary activist who showed leadership skills and great determination. Your legacy will always remain with us and will hopefully be emulated by all of us.
Fare thee well, Leta, Mtakwende. You gave a voice to the voiceless. You gave new meaning to respect for human dignity. Go well, my leader. God bless. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Madam Speaker, it was Abraham Lincoln who once observed and I quote: “Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.
In adversity and in power, as a member of the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe in exile; as a negotiator and constitution builder in the Convention for a Democratic South Africa, CODESA; as Minister in the government; and as Diplomat, Dr. Skweyiya remained true to his principles by putting the people first and advocating for social justice and equality.
Dr Skweyiya’s character shone during his tenure as our first post-apartheid Minister of Public Administration, for it was under his leadership that the principle of Batho Pele was put as a guiding light for those who serve in the leadership of our people.
Likewise, as Minister of Social Development, Dr Skweyiya championed much of our system of social and poverty alleviation systems and mechanisms. Not only did Dr Skweyiya help develop our Constitutional order and its vision of a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights but he gave effect thereto. Yes indeed, nearly all men can stand adversity but the test of their character is when they are given power.
So, on behalf of COPE, we salute this man of character who dedicated his life to the struggle for democracy, social justice and a better life for all and who remained true to his character despite the attainment of power, may his soul rest in peace.
Ms C DUDLEY: Madam Speaker, the ACDP was saddened to hear of Dr Zola Skweyiya’s long struggle with illness and sends sincere condolences to his family and colleagues on his recent passing.
One of the privileges afforded us on the passing of our colleagues is the opportunity to get to know a little more about the amazing people that we have worked with.
Dr Skweyiya became part of former President Mandela’s Cabinet in l994, but my memories of him are from the time he was a Minister of Social Development under the presidencies of Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe between l999 and 2009. As a member of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development tasked with oversight of his departments work, it was an interesting time, especially because oversight was very difficult for most of that period as the majority in this House felt compelled to just approve and endorse executive decisions. Then came what seemed like a rude awakening for many but in reality a godsend as the change over of presidencies opened the South African Parliament to a new era of executive oversight and accountability.
Dr Skweyiya is credited with spearheading the implementation of our social protection system, including the child grants and the formation of the South African Social Security Agency and this was a huge responsibility and huge accomplishment.
The ACDP during his time in office however presented a challenge for Minister Skweyiya and I was watching what one might call a thorn in the flesh although he might have described me a little less politely. He referred to this on 6th of November 2007 in the Second Reading of the Children’s Amendment Bill Debate, saying the committee tried to reach consensus on the matter of discipline of children, but in the end had to find a workable solution so as to avoid further delays to this amendment Bill.
He went on to say hon members, it is my hope that clause 139 will be further explored in a less sensational and more progressive manner. In the meantime we have deleted it from this Bill. This of course was a disappointment for the Minister but a victory for the ACDP.
We admire his willingness to acknowledge the voice of the people when it was clearly difficult for him, saying we also value
consensus and grassroots inputs. Consequently, we will endeavour to ensure greater and more meaningful consultations. Hon Masutha at the time had pointed out to him that there is far too much at stake to let one clause derail this Amendment Bill. Now, this was courageous at the time when executive decision didn’t allow for much digression and that they were never virtually unchallenged as well.
The Bill was in the main a great achievement and we commend Dr Skweyiya on his efforts to provide greater protection of children and to strengthen the important role family plays in society.
The ACDP pays deep respect and sincere condolences to his family and friends and to his colleagues. He will be remembered for his outstanding service to his country. Thank you.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Hon Speaker, I would like to thank the four minutes that have been allocated to us, I may not go that far since I am used to three minutes. [Laughter.]
We, as the AIC convey our condolences to the family of the late Dr Zola Skweyiya. His contribution made us to obtain the freedom we are enjoying today. A man of his calibre, we cherish him and hope that people would be like him and follow in his footsteps.
The guidance and the leadership he showed at the time he was the Minister of Social Development paved the way. It is because of his passion for the poor, the adults and the disabled that he established in the South African Social Security Agency, Sassa. Again, the child support grant is the answer to many of our children because of him. I believe he could have avoided the mess that is happening in the Department of Social Development if he was still a Minister, without casting any aspersions on anyone perhaps.
We hope the teachings and example will be followed and emulated by us, by our children and generations to come. He was not power hungry. Discipline was part of his life. He was very much devoted to serving the people.
We are now celebrating the life that has been. We hope that his spirit will live on so that many of us and many of our children will do what this man has done for the country. It is a pity that people have to be remembered after they are gone to the better world and not telling them the actual good things they have done for the country at the time they were still alive.
The principle of people first was what he wanted. He always said that the people should come first. So, if we can just learn from that, we would know exactly that we have to start with the people. So, it means he was a selfless, devoted and a person who was prepared to serve his country. So, we say as the AIC, may his soul rest in peace. Thank you.
Mr M M CHABANGU: Hon Speaker and Chair of the NCOP, Chief Commander, and all protocol observed, the EFF is deeply saddened by the departure of Dr Zola Skweyiya. What saddens us more is not only that he died, but more because he left a legacy so gigantic and so fundamental to the life of a nation that we doubt that there is, amongst those who lead us in the ruling party, anyone worthy of taking over the spear.
Dr Zola Skweyiya, through his unobtrusive commitment to justice, through his unbending dedication to the upholding of high moral standards for public representative, through his unrehearsed empathy for the poor and the marginalized, through his authentic belief in constitutionalism and the rule of law, he has left us with a shoe too big to be worn by the current generation of public representatives.
He taught us that the road that upholds high values of morality and ethical values is a very lonely road, but that it is okay to be alone, to be ridiculed, to be persecuted, to be called names, for as long as you believe in your own convictions, of as long as you believe that almost always, right always triumphs over wrong, however long it takes.
As that great leader for the emancipation of African people in America, Frederick Douglass once noted:
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob,
and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
Dr Skweyiya threw himself at the ideal of ensuring a better life for the marginalized, of uprooting poverty, and of eradicating ignorance. He did this because he knew that as long as we had people who went to bed without food, as long as we had kids who went to school on empty stomachs, as long as we had the elderly sick and hungry, no one in this country would be guaranteed of their freedom.
His understanding of the concept of freedom was ahead of his time. His pioneering work to roll out government grants to all the vulnerable and the needy in this country, in the process, ensuring that over 17 million people have something to eat, is the greatest legacy of the post 1994 administration.
Despite the inherent challenges and conceptual problems we may have with social grants, at the moment, they are the only difference between life and complete starvation for millions of South Africans. For that, as a nation we must forever be
grateful to Dr Skweyiya. He easily did more than any other Minister since 1994, to fight against the debilitating effects of poverty.
Over and above this, we remember Dr Skweyiya for his absolute commitment to ethical leadership. He knew, as Frederick Douglass knew, that “the life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous”. He remained honest, truthful and virtuous while it was not fashionable to be so in the liberation movement he gave his life to. He was one of the first leaders in the ANC to call out Zuma for the crooked heart that he is.
Towards the end of his life, he was concerned about the deeply embedded elements of criminality in the ANC, led by Zuma and his army of thieves. He never kept his feelings to himself, he spoke out, and for that was ostracised by the gang that was leading the ANC at the time, constituting of “Ginger”.
As the EFF, we appreciate the life of Dr Skweyiya, we are in awe of his unflinching commitment to the betterment of the lives of
our people, and we vow to take up the spear, and continue the fight for a free South Africa, for equal redistribution of land and resources, for better quality healthcare. We shall take care of our elderly, the disabled and vulnerable children. If Dr Skweyiya was alive, the Mayor of QwaQwa, Vusi Tshabalala could not have done what he did by beating the members of the ANC who ousted him.
We express our deepest condolences to the family and friends to his organization the ANC and to the millions of people who were touched by his humility and commitment to the people of this country. Amandla!
Mr N T GODI: Hon Speaker, Chairperson of the NCOP, comrades and hon members, on behalf of the APC and indeed, all Africanists, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences and solidarity with the Skweyiya family and his party.
The passing away of comrade Zola Skweyiya is part of a steady departure of a generation of activists and leaders who were path finders in the heightened fight for freedom; a generation that
in large measure epitomized principle, thoughtfulness, maturity and a deep respect for the people.
Reflecting on the person that comrade Skweyiya was, my personal lesson for me and all Africans is the need to embrace thoughtfulness. Deep thought as basis of our utterances and actions beyond and beside the emptiness and shallowness of militant rhetoric that lacks experience and a sound ideological base.
This is what I see when I look around and back to my encounter with him around 1993 at the then Giyani College of Education. Then, I was a youthful and exuberant national secretary for youth affairs in the PAC representing it in that two party debate. I got the rousing applause from the students, but he was calm, matured and thoughtful. There is a lesson I picked then which I still carry with me. May his soul rest in peace. Thank you.
Nksk T MPHAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Sihlalo wale Ndlu ndivumele egameni lombutho i-DA ndinike imbeko kulowo ongasekhoyo, uGr Zola Skweyiya, ndimothulele umnqwazi, ndimbonge ndimtyibele ndithi Huntshu, kuye ngobomi bakhe. Sithi Mazen’ ethole ngokugxotha ikati eziko. Yatsho nendlala yagqotsa yacela kwabasicatyane; kwaxhelwa exhukwane kwimizi ngemizi kuba indlala ibalekile.
Sithwalandwe esaseka isibonelelo kwimipha echutywe yalahlwa yeenkonde neenkondekazi zeli loMzantsi Afrika uphela. Satsho sabuya isidima samaxhego namaxhegwazana anikwa isibonelelo sikarhulumente ngenxa kaSolizembe. Sibamba ngazo zozibini kuwe Zola Skweyiya.
Kuni bantu baseMzantsi Afrika nakusapho lakwaSkweyiya, ngesibinze ngantoni na xa iinkedama zingabonelelwa; ngesitheni na thina bakhubazekileyo xa besingabonelelwa, ndibala ntoni na ngenxa i-Batho Pele principles bezingabonelwa ntweni.
Ngokuzolileyo, uZola ubiwe ngunokufa, wavuma kuba umzamo omhle uwenzile, nogqatso ulufezile wayila neArhente kaZwelonke yezoPhuhliso yoLutsha [National Youth Develpoment Agency, NYDA,] ngabula makhumtsha. Asibukhaleli ubomi bakho kuba
ubuyintshantsheli. xolani mawethu xa enabele uqaqaqa uSolizembe. Phumla tata ugqatso ulufezile.
Uze uxelele abaleleyo ukuba sisaxova udaka eMzantsi Afrika; ubazise nokuba u-Cash payment system neposi basadlala icekwa nondize. Nguwashiywa ukuya ebhantini kweyoMsintsi ngabula makhumtsha esithi ngu-September. Zohlala intsizi zikhongozela ziginya ingwiqi zilindele esi sibonelelo.
Xolani Mzantsi Afrika kuba eli qhawe lililwile idabi lentlupheko, yahamba ikati inxele likakhetsekile lashenxa. Namhlanje siyazi xa kuqala inyanga ngomhla woku-1 ukuba abantu bazancuma uncumo lukablankethi kuba kaloku inkqubo yezibonelelo yaqalwa nguZola Skweyiya. Sithi themba mqala uza kuginya; yagwetywa indlala ngenxa kaZola.
Ndivumele Sihlalo ndimtyibele ndith zonke iintlanga zonke izizwe uzibophe ngebhanti elinye. Uwulandele umgaqo-siseko kamasilingane. Unethamsanqa umhlaba oginye lomziba. Udilikile lo mgodi ngokuwa kweli qhawe mawethu. Awu, xolani ke ngoko lusapho lwaSkweyiya kuba kufa ayayo kakade, magorha nezilumko. Ngethemba
lokuba imbewu yohluma ukuba izithodlana ziyahluma zinkcenkceshelwe ngendlela efanelekileyo. Hamba ke Zola! Hamba Solizembe; hamba uyosikhonzela kwabo balele ukuthula. Hamba Gwiba, hamba mthunzi wethu, sohlala sikukhumbula ngemisebenzi emihle.
Mkhanyisi kwiintsunguzi neentsikizi ezimnyama zasemhlabeni; Mzisi wethemba kwabanemikhinkqi nengevane. Thuthuzelekani lusapho lwaSkweyiya noMzantsI Afrika uphele. Phumla ngoxolo tata kude kube ngunaphakade. Wohlala uthe thaa ezingqondweni zethu silandela umgoma wakho maxa wonke. Masingaqumbi ke siqalekise mawethu, kufuneka sazi ukuba uye kusikhonzela kwabo balele ukuthula. Solizembe, sihamba le ndlela sonke. Akuhlanga lungehlanga mawethu. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Mr C NQAKULA: Hon Speaker and hon members of this Joint Sitting, allow me, right at the outset, to register appreciation that our Parliament continues to create space for us to remember those who, once upon a time, were part of Parliament and creating an opportunity for us to continue to pay homage to them.
My take in the tribute to Comrade Zola Skweyiya takes its cue from what happened when Comrade Nosiviwe and I visited him in hospital – when he was in the Intensive Care Unit, ICU, about six weeks before his death. He had been ill for quite some time and hence he was at intensive care.
When we arrived at his bedside, he was asleep but then woke up and raised himself up on his bed and started pumping us with political questions and discussing issues he had always been raising with respect to his beloved organisation - the African National Congress.
I am not going to raise those matters, the ANC leadership knows about them – many of them are in the public domain. I want though to apologise to Comrade Zola, even at this late stage, that some members of the ANC defined him and other veterans of our struggle as so-called “veterans” and “empty tins”. Those who have been in the ANC for a long time know Comrade Zola, that his fight was against the defiling of the values of the ANC by some of the movement’s members and they would have been surprised had he not raised his concerns when the policies of your movement
were being violated willy-nilly, without any intervention by the senior cadreship.
Comrade Zola was a committed member of uMkhonto weSizwe and fully understood and subscribed to MK’s military code, which, among other things, raised the following, I quote:
By joining uMkhonto, combatants commit themselves to the solemn and noble duty of serving our suffering and dispossessed people in the struggle that will continue for each and all of us until victory or death.
He correctly defined corruption as theft of resources meant for, I quote: “our suffering and dispossessed people.” I met Comrade Zola for the first time in 1959, when I was admitted to the Lovedale Missionary Institution. He was already what was called at the time an Old Comer, while I was a New Comer. I came into contact with his politics when I was recruited into the ranks of the African Students Association, ASA, which was formed by the ANC. Comrade Zola became our branch chairperson.
It was in that position that he showed his leadership and very good listening skills. He was able carefully and correctly to read political developments in our country and abroad. His analytical prowess was amazing. It was only later that I learnt what had shaped his politics.
He was recruited in 1956 into the ANC Youth League at the age of 14, having been born on 14 April 1942, at Simonstown - just a short drive from here. He was drawn quite early in his life into the hurly-burly of South Africa’s politics, during the period that activists called the Roaring Fifties. He came into contact with many leading figures in the liberation struggle in the Western Cape where revolutionary activism was high.
There are many volunteers he interacted with who had participated in the Defiance Campaign against unjust laws in 1952. He met and was influenced by the various ANC and Communist Party activists.
He was familiar with the founding congress on 5 March 1955 of the South African Congress of Trade Unions and of the holding of
the Congress of the People in June the same year. He had access to the various documents circulated within the ranks of the Congress Movement and was thoroughly schooled in the politics of the struggle for liberation.
In June 1959, Verwoerd’s government passed the Extension of University Education Act, which defined tertiary institutions into entities which were separated into different segments for Whites, Africans, Coloureds and Indians. The Africans were separated along ethnic lines - Fort Hare being reserved for Xhosas, Ongoye became a university for Zulus, the Sothos and Tswanas were bundled off to Turfloop. The white students were accommodated in the best resourced universities.
The students across the country were not going to take the new apartheid measure without a fight. Comrade Zola participated in a number of meetings where plans were articulated to oppose the Act. Demonstrations were launched countrywide but the system resorted to its violent nature. Some students were expelled from Fort Hare and the security forces laid siege to Alice and its
environs. Security personnel armed with Sten guns and ensconced in armoured personnel carriers became a common sight.
Comrade Zola was still at Lovedale when the ANC and other political organisations were banned by the racist regime and uMkhonto weSizwe was formed. He became part of the original contingent of cadres who were recruited to MK. The next time I met Comrade Zola was at Kabwe - a small town north of Lusaka in Zambia. He was a delegate at the ANC’s Second Consultative Conference held in that town. At the time of the conference, he had been redeployed to Lusaka by the president of the ANC, Oliver Reginald Tambo, who wanted him to set up the Department of Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
Comrade Zola, like any trained soldier, wanted to be part of the Wankie and Sipolilo campaigns in 1967 and 1968. Comrade OR, however, had other tasks for him and had him sent to Germany in 1968 to do law at the University of Leipzig, where he graduated with a doctor of laws degree in 1978. He started building the ANC’s legal section and recruited as part of his team, Penuell Maduna, Ntozintle Jobodwana and Teddy Phekane but expanded it
later to include Brigitte Mabandla, Mathews Phosa and Sandile Nogxina. That team of ANC lawyers drafted in 1988 a document of constitutional guidelines for a democratic South Africa, many of whose elements were incorporated into the current South African Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Comrade Zola, during his tenure as a member of the Cabinets of former President Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, argued strongly that the democratic government had an obligation to adhere tenaciously to the project to create conditions for a better life for all South Africans.
His commitment to poverty alleviation was legendary. Social grant system was one of the instruments that he piloted to deal with poverty. He argued, however, that the social grant system would not resolve, on its own, the plight of the poor. He suggested a multiple approach that would include land ownership by black people, meaning Africans, Coloureds and Indians. Among other things, the new landowners would use that land for food security.
Comrade Zola continued to insist when Cabinet discussions happened on a new system of spatial planning, that black land ownership had to be integral to land use management and the hon Lekota knows about this. He was part of the Cabinet at the time.
Despite many resolutions taken from its various platforms on the question of land, the ANC has been quite tardy in the implementation of such decisions. One of the clearest comments by the ANC on the matter of land ownership was a resolution taken at its 1923 conference. That conference happened 10 years after the passing of the Natives Land Act of 1913, which Sol Plaatje, the ANC’s secretary general at the time contextualised as follows, I quote: “Awaking on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth.”
The ANC’s 1923 resolution made it clear that, I quote: “All Africans have, as the sons of this soil, the God-given right to unrestricted ownership of the land in this, the land of their birth.”
In his address, in January, at the commemoration of the ANC’s 106th anniversary, the organisation’s president, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, told his audience:
The 54th Conference, in December 2017, decided that the historic injustice of land dispossession needs to be addressed with greater urgency. There was overwhelming support that the ANC must pursue the expropriation of land without compensation.
That question is now before Parliament, having been piloted by the EFF, whose motion received majority support in the National Assembly. Comrade Zola would have been very happy about this development. He was critically ill when the motion was adopted. In his memory, let us process quickly the passing of the relevant legislation.
Hon Malema, I can imagine a situation where you would have gone somewhere to say the following: “Mama, we gave the ANC a signal but mama we don’t know what to do with the DA. [Laughter.] Mama, give us a signal.”[Laughter.]
We further need to reconstruct ... I am using this word advisedly ... reconstruct not restructure. We further need to reconstruct our public service to produce a contingent of workers that will become the prime instrument for a better system of service delivery in the best interests of the concept of Batho Pele. That was one of Comrade Zola’s wishes enroute to a better life for all our people, black and white. Thank you very much. [Laughter.]
The SPEAKER: Hon members, the presiding officers of Parliament associate themselves with the sentiments expressed by the members in the debate. Can we please rise to observe a moment of silence in memory of Dr Skweyiya. Thank you.
TRIBUTE TO MS NOMZAMO WINFRED MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, MP
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Speaker of the National Assembly, hon members, my respects go to the Madikizela-Mandela and Skweyiya Mazibuko family. We have gathered here today to
remember two illustrious members of this House, who were members since 1994.
We have also gathered here to remember one, Winfred Nomzamo Nobandla Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela, who is no more. On her 80th birthday, then Deputy President Ramaposa, said and I quote: “Mama Winnie lived a rich and eventful life, whose setbacks and victories have traced the progress of the struggle of or people for freedom.” Mama Winnie was a towering figure of our lifetime, a pivotal women in our history, a notable presence in the world, whether you liked her or hated her.
It is right today that we stand here and remember this daughter of South Africa and the world. The Deputy President was right - her life, the trials and tribulations, the few moments of joy track what we went through as a nation of South Africa.
Whether you liked her or not, you can never run away from the fact that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lived. She lived a life of scorn but she was loved and revered by those who were oppressed. She lived a life none of us in this House would want to live,
but she towered, she loved and she was ebullient. She walked and she worked. She spoke and listened. She was amongst us and with us. She laughed with us and cried with us.
You may hate her, but the people who matter in the fight against apartheid in this country will always want to be associated with Winfred Madikizela-Mandela. [Applause.]
We have noted and some of us are still reeling from the shock of her passing. The Africans in the diaspora have not been quiet.
Harlem broke into song in memory of Winfred Mandela. The United Nations hosted a memorial service in memory of this daughter of South Africa. My colleagues in Ghana and Nigeria tell me that there were memorial services for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Closer home here in SADC, we remembered this woman. We remembered her proudly. We acknowledged that, as she walked and cried, as she stared at her enemies, so did those of us who were cowering behind her skirts. We stood up and straightened our backs and took up what we needed to take up to continue the fight.
We have observed the 10 days of mourning as a country. Our flags were at half mast, not hesitant, not bowed, but at half mast because we were honouring one of our own. We were not ashamed and hiding, but our flags were at half mast because the mother of the nation had passed on.
We do note and we continue to note the insults. We continue to note that the remnants of the apartheid system have failed to accept the wrongs that they have heaped on Nomzamo, the daughter of Madikizela.
We shall not forget. Our revenge will be the credits in our hearts of what she contributed to, in the history books and in the memories of our great grandchildren. We shall continue to remember this great daughter of South Africa in the descendants of the African child.
We who bore children to be raised by others in our absence understood where Winnie was coming from. We who felt the pain understood Winnie Mandela. We who were stripped naked to be paraded understood Winnie Mandela. We who got married and lived
without husbands understood the pain of Winnie Mandela. We who had nothing, disposed of our land, and we who cried day and night and could not explain understood the humiliation and pain of this woman.
We are not ashamed to be associated with this name. So, Nomzamo Zanyiwe will remain in our memory. We will remain the extraordinary voice that was urging my generation to fight against a system of apartheid, which bonded us in the kitchens and the backyards. We remain thankful for the invaluable contribution of this one who was brave, at great, great personal cost.
Kgadi e kgolo ya ko ga Madikizela ...
... like Deborah in the Bible, was just a women, but when the challenges came and the war broke, she took the reigns of leadership even though our children in the streets of Soweto were outnumbered by the casspirs, bullets, guns and teargas.
Like Deborah in the Bible, Winnie Mandela stood steadfast and remained committed.
Her dedication to the struggle and patriarchy has always been unshakable. She became the face and voice of the voiceless. She hated and fought against racism, patriarchy, domestic violence, and gender-based violence. She hated poverty and that is why she actually never made money. She got donations, which were divided into little groups of people, so that they could survive.
She was trained as a professional social worker, but she did not, even when she could have appealed and taken up a job, work in the profession. She became the organic one out there ...
... ko mekhukhung ko go sa nkgeng monate teng.
She sat with widows, she sat with orphans, and she bathed those who needed to be bathed when we started to experience the scourge of HIV and Aids. She stood courageously as a wife when
her husband was incarcerated. She stood and did everything that
... umakoti wabaThembu ...
... was supposed to do. She kept the home fires burning and raised the children. As we celebrate Mama Sisulu and Madiba this year, we must also celebrate that woman who kept the name of Nelson Mandela in our hearts and minds for more than 30 years. [Applause.]
We must celebrate this woman who became the face of the South African struggle for equal education when she was a graduate. We must remember the small contribution she made. I am saying small because when you look from outside, it look small. When you have been inside, it is huge.
So, how do we describe this ...
How do you disassociate any daughter ...
... from the fight for land? How do you look at this beautiful, courageous, challenging, loyal and passionate woman? How do you describe this inspiration of my generation, this homebuilder who fought ferociously to keep her people together? How do you explain this woman who touched the hearts of all the oppressed across the nation? We still attest that she was a mother, not only to her biological children, but to some of us, all of us, to even those who were older than her.
So, I think we should honour Winnie. We should walk the talk. We should not just compose new songs; they go with memory. With time they lose the meaning in words. We should memorialise
Winnie in the memories of those who are yet to be born. We should contribute to Winnie’s name being kept alive by going back to strengthening the women’s movement of South Africa. [Applause.] Mr Godi, I have, in recent past, not heard about a meeting between the women of the PAC and the women of ANC as we used to have. I have not heard of these two liberation movements remembering, rejoining, or having a common project.
I have seen Winnie shed tears for little children because she was worried about what their futures will be. I have also seen Winnie consoling all of us to hide her own pain. Sometime when we fight, we forget the person in front of us. Sometimes when we are hurt, we even hurt the person we are supposed to protect.
For me, Comrade Winnie was one such victim. We are happy that the truth has come out. We will be even happier if more truth comes out.
We will be happy if this woman is given her place in history. When you build statues of liberators, perhaps you will remember to build a statue of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, not because she was a wife to Nelson Mandela, but because she was a fighter, she
stood up when some hid, because she stood up and said what we were sometimes too scared to say and because she did not only fight for the people who carried black, green and gold, but she fought and died fighting, agonizing about the people of South Africa and the poor worldwide.
She died worried about identities. She died worried about the dispossessed who were still struggling to get back. She died worried about the South African black children who have mental health challenges because ...
... thina ke abantu abamnyama sivele sibaxoshe sithi bayahlanya ...
... that is their business. That was the last thing that Winnie wanted to take on very seriously - access to medication and counseling. Where are we, mothers of the nation?
Ka jalo, ke batla go re ...
No monument will contain the Colossi called Winnie Mandela. No monument will contain the beautiful soul that was Winnie Mandela. She was not perfect; she was simply our mother. She did not pretend to be perfect. She had a hell of a temper. She had a hell of an effective laughter. She loved people and she was loved.
May we keep her memory? May we treasure her? May we thank the Madikizela and Mandela family for giving us this sacrificial lamb, this woman who even in death was still being reviled, this women who gave us everything, this woman who would not hesitate to speak out? Let us remember her, as I said not in cheap songs, but in deeds. Let us remember her in those childcare facilities which suddenly we have stopped, as civil society, to build.
Let us remember her in practicing that respect that she had towards anybody older than her. When she called men boTata it was not because she taught they were superior to her or that they older than her, it was simply a form of respect. I think respect is something that we are missing these days.
So, for me it is ...
... Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi! Malibongwe kube njalo! [Ihlombe.]
Mr S C MOTAU: Deputy Speaker, hon members today its world press freedom day and as we remember Winnie Madikizela Mandela I am sure that most of you would agree that the press which we now the media were right there every step of the way with Winnie Madikizela Mandela. So as we say to the men and women of the press we appreciate what you do and we also appreciate what you did in the past.
Hon Deputy Speaker, volumes have been written, screened and spoken about Winnie Madikizela Mandela over the years and more extensively during the past few weeks since she passed away. You would wonder what more can be said about this woman and that is question I had to grapple with. However, I believe that each one of us will forever carry their own memories and reflections of this remarkable South African who until not so long ago loomed large in our lives. Therefore, I would like to share with you two of my own memories of the activist Winnie Mandela I grew to
know. There are many other memories I have but these two stands out and I hope you will appreciate what I mean as I go along.
My first close encounter with Winnie Mandela - and I say Winnie Mandela deliberately because that’s how the world knew her.
That’s how the children in Atteridgeville knew her. In this country at that time when you said Winnie they didn’t ask you who is Winnie? They knew who Winnie was. There was just one Winnie. So as I say that I say it with the fullest respect to this woman.
It was on the 6 April 1979 and I am sure many of you will remember this date because it reverberates with us. While I was a senior journalist on the Pretoria News I used to cover education, labour and politics. This was the day as many of you would remember that young Solomon Mahlangu was executed by hanging at the gallows in Pretoria and was later buried at the Mamelodi cemetery. Now here is the rub, we were given the run around by the security branch then because they didn’t want the media to know where this young man was going to be buried but we knew he was going to go to Mamelodi because that’s where they
take people who were executed. Fortunately coming out of Atteridgeville I left a message out there because they had said that he would be buried in Atteridgeville. I left the message and I went to Mamelodi and indeed as it turned out it was Solomon Mahlangu who was buried in Mamelodi and guess who was there – Winnie Mandela. She defied her burning orders. She went to Mamelodi. She got to the Mamelodi cemetery and thereafter to the H M Pitje stadium where she addressed the people. We were there – we saw this happen.
The second time I had a close encounter with Winnie was around the beginning of December 1985, this would be about the 3rd or the 4th also in Mamelodi at the funeral of 12 Mamelodi residents who had been killed by the police during a protest march on the
21 November 1985, in fact on that day 13 people were mauled down. After the funeral service as you can imagine, people in Mamelodi were up in arms they wanted to go to the Mayor and kill everybody, do something because our people are gone. And would you believe it, that it was Winnie Mandela who said to the people that it is not how we do it. Let us pray and go home.
I have in my hand here the article we produced at the Pretoria news on that day “Winnie Mandela calms mourners”. I together with three of my colleagues wrote the story. I mentioned this so that I can contextualise what I would like to say about Winnie Madikizela Mandela. That was the Winnie Mandela who inspired the oration from the heart that you will soon hear; it’s called Nomzamo. You are the first people to hear these personal reflections which I now share with you as a tribute to Winnie Madikizela Mandela. This is the tribute. It is simply styled “Nomzamo”. Amandla! [Interjections.]
Hon members: Awethu! [Interjections.]
Mr S C MOTAU: The salute roars for you, oh lady elephant
You of the prophetic name, Nomzamo ka Mandela Great mother among true mothers of Africa Fearless woman who grasp the knife by the blade Adversity fuels your indomitable spirit
Your struggle for freedom knows no limit.
Innocent and free, you blushed in matrimonial bliss Tears of joy turned to heart-breaking weeping
They wrenched your love from your loving arms Father of your children and leader of his people
They branded him member of a seditious terrorist band They shipped him off to remote, heartless Robben Island.
Alone and afraid you sobbed and drooped in dusty Soweto Bride without a groom – wife without a husband
Both mother and father to Zenani and Zindzi
The gods of Mandela and Madikizela watched you cry
They touched your brow and brought life to your heavy heart They stoked fire into the cold ashes in your cheerless heart.
Bewildered shadow of the revered Nelson Mandela Fearful girl blossomed into woman brave and strong His jailers fumed as they watched your stature grow They did their worst to break your body and soul Orlando turned to prison-home as ban followed ban Barren Brandford was Siberia banished to the bundu.
You shook the sleepy backward dorpie rudely awake Your presence inspired pride in your people there Threats of death followed prison and isolation Unsatisfied; they fired bombed prison home to ash Living symbol of African motherhood and survival
You inspire hope and dedication to national revival.
Your courage is surpassed only by your modesty You of the regal bearing and big African eyes They maligned and smeared your respected name They cast aspersions on your moral character Your name remains intact and untarnished Malicious fabrications by your people banished.
Cursed to a weird world of arbitrary silence Your precious words permeate the eerie quiet You hold to torch of truth and freedom aloft You dare not waver – you cannot falter Protracted trials and tribulations of today Are sure to bring peace to all another day!
All of you sitting in this auditorium bare truth to this truth about bringing peace to all another day.
Go ba ga Mandela le ba ga Madikizela, rena re le DA re re homotšegang. Se se sa felego se a hlola, le a lena mahloko a tla fela. Ke a leboga.
Dr S S THEMBEKWAYO: The Deputy Speaker, Chairperson of the NCOP, president and commander-in-chief of the EFF, deputy president of the EFF, secretary-general, SG and deputy secretary-general, DSG of the EFF and public representatives of the EFF, members of both Houses of Parliament, families of Mama Winnie Madikizela- Mandela, and special acknowledgement of the presence of Zinzi Mandela here today including the families of Dr Zola Skweyiya and other guests present, we are here to pay tribute to Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and we do so with a great smile because she lived and fought relentlessly to restore the dignity of black people of South Africa.
Through her bravery she has inspired many generations of red roses, beautiful sons and daughters of Africa who will continue the fight for the only freedom, true freedom, freedom of economic emancipation of our lifetime. We are here to pay tribute to Mama Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and we do so with true love because she loved us whole-heartedly all the time and unconditionally too. Through her gentle warmth she has taught us to truly love ourselves and other black people in order to break a generational curse of self-hate.
We are here to pay tribute to Winnie Mandela and we do so because of her greatest personal sacrifice, a sacrifice of everything that is good including raising her own children. Through her sacrifice our people are liberated from shackles of racist apartheid regime and we now have the political freedom to pursue economic emancipation. She lived all her life with the people; never separated from her people and faced all their challenges at the forefront as a tried and tested activist. That is why she is the mother of our nation not only in South Africa, but across the continent and the rest of the world. Unlike many who are here, who have forgotten where they come from and do not
support legislation which seeks betterment of all black people, she never sold out.
We still pay tribute to Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela Mandela because we know her woes and we are happy her name will be written in the eternal book of life, the book of all who died for the betterment of all black people. When we formed the EFF she encouraged us, gave us guidance, listened to us and shared her life experience. Therefore, we proudly and unashamedly associate with her and what she stood for. We paid tribute to her while she was still alive. People of Soweto and Winnie Mandela squatter camp, people who matter most, paid tribute to her when she was alive. In her passing, Winnie Mandela is resting in perfect revolutionary peace.
Mama Winnie Mandela was a practical person who offered practical solutions to the communities in dire need at all times. During her banishment in Brandfort she established a clinic and a food garden. We have lost a heroin; we have lost a liberator; and we have lost a courageous fighter. Oh, what a struggle! What an
iconic personality! What the strength in the face of oppression! What the strength in isolation and evil! Oh, what a life!
For as long as we carry the spear and continue to fight for the expropriation of land without compensation, nationalisation of mines and banks, free education and economic freedom in our lifetime as our generational mission, she will continue to rest in perfect revolutionary peace. As the EFF, we reiterate the call to the ANC-led government to change the name of Cape Town International Airport to Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela International Airport. May Mama Winnie, Winifred Madikizela- Mandela’s soul rest in peace! I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N SINGH: Hon Deputy Speaker and hon members, speaking at the memorial service of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, my leader the hon Prince Buthelezi said, “A tree has fallen and our nation mourns.”
Deputy Speaker, in the hours following the news of Mama Madikizela-Mandela’s passing on Monday, 02 April 2018, tributes flowed from all parts of the world, remembering her enormous
contribution to the liberation of our country. The IFP was honoured to add its voice to this chorus of admiration for there are few who sacrifice so much for the sake of our nation.
Mama Mandela was veritably defined by her courage and resilience. She was not merely the wife of Nelson Mandela. She was a freedom fighter in her own right with strong convictions that she voiced fearlessly as we have heard from speakers before me. She lived to serve her country and maintained her cause even when times were at the darkest and she was persecuted on occasions even at the hands of fellow freedom fighters.
In her book 491 Days Mrs Madikizela-Mandela wrote about my leader Prince Buthelezi and she says:
Buthelezi was going to use Inkatha to fight apartheid from within. He was one of the greatest fighters in his day and he was entrusted from fighting the system from within, and that is what people do not know.
Hon Deputy Speaker, like hon Buthelezi, Mrs Winnie Madikizela- Mandela fought on and never waived in the struggle for a democratic and free South Africa. It is therefore greatly fitting that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was among the fortunate ones of our generation to witness the sunrise of liberation and the genesis of democracy in our land. Even then, her struggle did not stop, for she understood as we all did that the wrongs of the past could only be set right through continued hard work.
Yes, a tree has fallen but its fruit is not scattered. We are planted together and together we will grow. This will be her legacy. On behalf of my leader the hon Buthelezi and the IFP we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mama Madikizela-Mandela. We cannot imagine your heartache and we pray that the Lord will comfort and heal you at this time of great sorrow and mourning. May the soul of Nomzamo Winifred
Madikizela-Mandela rest in peace! I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr A M SHAIK-EMAM: Hon Deputy Speaker, members of the executive, members of the NCOP, the National Assembly, Winnie Mandela
family, including the Skweyiya family and hon members of this House, allow me to start off on behalf of my leader VZ Magwaza- Msibi and the NFP to extend our condolences to the Mandela family and including the Skweyiya family.
Now, Deputy Speaker, we are gathered here today to pay tribute to the late, the mother of our nation, the late Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela, a freedom fighter, struggle icon, selfless humanitarian, a grandmother, a mother not only to her children but the nation at large.
We have heard the President of the country, the Deputy President, member after member in the memorial services, at the funeral, including our hon Malema, who normally fights the ANC had only good words to say about our mother of the nation, hon Madikizela-Mandela. It clearly indicates the role that the mother of this nation has played in South Africa and in the liberation of our people and very importantly, the role that she played in liberating the women in South Africa. I think we all are aware for decades women in South Africa have always been marginalised. I think she started this fight.
At the age of nine, she experienced the first state of oppression or injustice of racism when she was forced to wait outside at the end of the Second World War celebration as it was meant for whites only. So, it clearly means that at the age of nine years this had an effect on her and that’s basically what changes the mother of our nation.
Hon Deputy Speaker, she was a social worker with par excellence. She served the people. She went out of her way. She identified the challenges and she fought that to ensure that we improve the quality of life of our people on the ground. She was abused. She was assaulted. She was banished. There were harassment by the police, raids and doors being broken into turning the house upside down. Nothing deterred this mother of the nation from continuing with the struggle to liberate our people in South Africa. She was at the forefront from that time until her death.
Her first taste of prison life and its horrid conditions was in October 1958 in Johannesburg after the march against the oppressed pass laws. She was pregnant at that time. Her life was made a living hell, even her children Zenani and Zindziswa bore
the brunt of this oppressive apartheid regime being expelled from different schools at different times. That did not stop her. When the hon former President was in prison, she fought the fight to the bitter end. At no time did she stop, despite the dirty tricks campaign by the apartheid regime in collusion with the media at the time. Now we know the truth of exactly what has happened. [Applause.] She did not stop.
Hon Deputy Speaker, it is only appropriate to acknowledge her role in the liberation of our people during her lifetime. We have never done that but it is never too late.
As the NFP, we are calling for a plague statue to be put at this precinct of Parliament to honour Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. This has never happened when a woman’s statue appears anywhere in South Africa in my view. It must be done here. It’s the way we can pay tribute to her. [Applause.] If we cannot put it next to the hon Madiba then I am suggesting hon Deputy Speaker, let’s remove the oppressed one and put her there. That is the person that rightfully deserve to be here so that when people comes from around the world, including us, we can acknowledge the role
that she has played. Our condolences to the family, the children and all the ANC members and everyone connected to her. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr N L S KWANKWA: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon members, fellow South Africans, a big tree, an outstanding servant of the people, a struggle icon has fallen. Dr Maya Angelou, in her poem “When Great Trees Fall" says, and I quote:
And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored never
to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be better. For they existed. "
As we mourn and are still trying to come to terms with the untimely death of Mam’ uWinnie, no one can deny the fact that our lives are better because she existed.
Mama was a fearless freedom fighter, who brought her superlative courage to the struggle during the darkest hours of oppression. She was a colossus that bestrode the lives of the poor and downtrodden, shielding them from the vicious onslaught of the apartheid regime.
It was therefore not surprising that South Africans after her passing, who understand the passage of the struggle for freedom, regarded her with veneration. It is because these South Africans understand that both in the war against the apartheid regime and in peace, Mam’ uWinnie served South Africa unfailingly and wholeheartedly for decades.
For these reasons, it was also not surprising that, when Mama Winnie passed away, the world rang with tributes to this great leader of our time.
We were however flabbergasted by the ostentatious vulgarity of the criticism of her legacy by some of her detractors and the brazen lies they told to tarnish her image. Despite their venomous attacks, our love and respect for her remains undiminished.
Disappointingly, even the behaviour displayed by those of us who tried to defend her legacy was at times marked by puerility.
This group displayed an exclusivist notion to national interest and the right to defend her legacy, which was extremely intolerant of dissenting views, whether valid or not.
To reduce her legacy to her mistakes understands neither the dangers of the struggle for freedom, nor the monumental sacrifices on which our pedestal of hope is premised.
Fellow South Africans, it will be a saddest irony of history and a damning indictment of our leadership if we were to allow or use Mama’s Winnie’s passing to divide the very same nation she fought tooth and nail to unite.
In this regard, we owe it to the youth of this country and future generations to tell an objective account of Mama Winnie's contribution to our struggle for liberation that is free of distortions.
Madam Speaker, throughout our struggle for freedom, Mama Winnie was sustained not only by her love for our people, but by her sincerity and commitment towards building a democratic, united, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.
In your honour Mama, we will continue to fight for the improvement of the lives of the poor and to ensure that land is returned back to our people.
We will not let your passing, as our struggle icons, to be the end of an era of South African greatness. We will continue to individually and collectively work towards building a South Africa in which all look forward to the sunrise of our tomorrow.
Menze Thixo umama aphumle ngonaphakade, umkhanyisele ngokhanyiso olungacimiyo. Lala ngoxolo mama, siyabulela.
Man B T MATHEVULA: Eka Mutshamaxitulu, ndyangu wa ka Mandela, ndyangu wa ka Skweyiya na Commander in Chief, Sello Julius Malema, ndza mi xeweta.
Karabo Mokoena’s ex-boyfriend has just been found guilty in the South Gauteng High Court of murdering her. Yesterday, a young, female student was shot and killed by her boyfriend at the Mangosuthu University of Technology simply because she wanted to break up with him. Yesterday, a young, female student at the Tshwane University of Technology was stabbed and nearly raped by a man on her campus.
As we pay tribute to Mama Winnie Mandela, we are all aware that patriarchy and gender-based violence remain the reality in politics and everywhere else, in South Africa. Mama Winnie’s suffering then was symbolic of the pain, suffering and abuse
women experience every day at the hands of South African men. What the apartheid government did to Mama Winnie because of her political ideas, gender and conviction is what men continue to do to us today in this country, when we say no, when we say yes, and when we don’t say anything, at all.
Every day, South African women, whether in their homes, at work, at school, in taxi ranks, at malls, or anywhere in this country are, generally, just not safe. For Mama Winnie to pass while men are at war with South African women is shameful, and we should all be embarrassed.
In paying tribute to Mama Winnie Mandela, we must recommit to reversing the scourge of violence against our women. In paying tribute to Mama Winnie, we must all recommit to the equal pay of men and women. We must all recommit to ensuring that young women do not get removed from school simply because they are pregnant. There is a great deal of work that still needs to be done to prevent the brutal murder, abuse and rape of, and discrimination against women.
We must recommit to building capacity within our police service so that it is able to follow up on all cases of gender-based violence, whether they are popular, or not. We must recommit to building a justice system that has the capacity and willingness to prosecute men who engage in gender-based violence. We must recommit to improving the accessibility of reproductive health, including access to sanitary pads. At the centre of our recommitment to eradicating all the challenges facing women, we must all ensure that land, when it is taken without compensation, is given to women first.
Mama Winnie Mandela will continue to rest in revolutionary peace when women own the land; when women work the land they own; when women feed the nation from their own land; when women build places of worship on their own land; and when women build businesses on their own land. Mama Winnie Mandela will smile down on us as she rests in revolutionary peace when this day happens – and the greatest tribute we can make to her is to ensure that the Cape Town International Airport is renamed as the Winifred Madikizela-Mandela International Airport.
Etlela hi ku rhula Manana wa Rixaka, muyimeri wa vavasati va ntiyiso, wena Manana Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela. Inkomu. [Va phokotela.]
Dr C P MULDER: Hon Deputy Speaker, there is a famous, old, Native American proverb: “When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced ... when you die, you rejoice and the world cries.”
Today is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to one of our colleagues, the honourable Winnie Mandela, who was a member of this House. She became a Member of Parliament in 1994 and she served as a member of this House until her death, recently.
Winnie is gebore 26 September 1936, in Bizana, Oos-Kaap, waar haar wortels is en waarvandaan sy gekom het.
Many people have spoken about the trials and tribulations of her life and of the things she went through. In practical terms, however, she became the face and the rally point for the then Free Mandela campaign. I remember it very well.
In 1990, I remember she was the one that walked out of the Victor Verster Prison with President Mandela. What we saw on television is what I think people will remember forever. She had the privilege and honour of being with President Mandela there because she had become the rally point for the Free Mandela campaign.
She became a Member of Parliament and served here, in our Parliament, for many years. Perhaps some of us have forgotten, but she was appointed as a Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture in the first Cabinet.
Earlier today, we paid tribute to the honourable Dr Zola Sweyiya. I remember that those first ANC members who came – I sometimes refer to them as The A-Team – were the first senior membership of the ANC that served and took the initiative after
1994. She remained a member until her death, recently, and was part of that small group of Members of Parliament that has been here since 1994.
During the trials and tribulations and the struggle she put out there, as members have referred to, she obviously became the victim of a retaliatory process. This was highlighted in the media in the last couple of weeks and discussed there.
Dit is nie my manier van doen nie, maar van ons kollegas het dit vandag nodig geag om te probeer om Winnie te gebruik om sekere politieke punte te maak. Ek verstaan dit, maar ek wil nie daar gaan nie. Ek dink dit is egter veel belangriker om eerder te kyk na die persoon, na die mens as individu, en die stryd wat sy as ’n persoon, as ’n ma, as ’n eggenoot, as ’n ouma gehad het in daardie tyd.
Dit is ook belangrik om jou altyd in iemand anders se posisie te plaas. Draai net die rol om. Dink hoe dit was, as dit jy was in terme van jou man wat so pas lewenslank tronk toe gestuur is –
en dit gaan die oor die feite nie. Dit maak nie saak hier nie. Dit is wat so pas gebeur het. Hoe raak dit jou? Jou hele lewe word omvergewerp. Jy het kinders, en wat word van jou situasie vorentoe?
Ek dink dis belangrik dat mens kennis daarvan moet neem dat Winnie se geestelike krag onder permanente polisieteistering en
–brutaliteit moet by almal respek afdwing. Pascale Lamche se onlangse rolprent, Winnie, handel hieroor maar ook oor baie kritiek wat teen haar uit ANC-geledere intern gekom het. Hierdie rolprent is herhaaldelik na haar dood op televisie gewys. Die rolprent gee haar standpunte weer en bring enkele nuwe feite na vore, maar dis sekerlik nie die finale, gebalanseerde beoordeling van haar lewe nie.
Natuurlik was sy ’n omstrede figuur en sy het omstrede standpunte gehuldig, maar vandag is nie die geleentheid om daaroor ’n debat te voer nie.
There is another quotation: “Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” Winnie Mandela lived. She had a full life.
En of jy met haar saamgestem het of nie, jy moet daardie werklikheid verreken. Sy het ’n vol lewe gehad en ’n rol gespeel in Suid-Afrika.
On behalf of the FF-Plus, I would like express our sincere condolences to the ANC, which has lost a colleague. Today, however, is not about political parties. It is about the family who has lost a mother and a grandmother, and we would like to express our condolences to them. We understand the difficult situation that you are going through. Thank you very much. [Applause.]
Mr M G P LEKOTA: Deputy Speaker, in life and in death comrade Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been admired and venerated, denounced and vilified, more recently her past has been
revisited and history contended; new narratives have been posited, persons and institutes smeared with or without foundation or fact perhaps to advance partisan and populist interest.
There have been disputes over what she stood for and even contestations over the ownership of her legacy, but that is as it should have been for as the late Madiba observed on a number of occasions, only those who are busy doing nothing do not make mistakes. So, somewhere among the cacophony of noise and rhetoric, smoke and mirrors and narrow interest lies the truth in its nakedness, brutal nakedness.
So, Cope pays tribute to one who has left our numbers, to the role played and the untold sacrifices she made in the resistance against apartheid and in the struggle for our liberation. We acknowledge the incompressible pain, suffering and anguish that she endured along side our oppressed and defenceless people. So, as we look to her family and others we extend our gratitude and sympathies to the family.
May God grant her soul peace and her rest. Thank you.
Rev K R J MESHOE: Deputy Speaker, the ACDP joins millions of South Africans in paying tribute to our former Member of Parliament, the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. We will always remember Mama Winnie for her strong convictions and courage. She had the courage to speak the truth to power and was not intimidated by the apartheid government security agency.
She also stood by her convictions and spoke her mind even in the most trying of times some times at great cost. Her courage enabled her to stand in the face of persecution and imprisonment and to speak out in defence of the poor and her husband, the late former President Mandela when he was incarcerated. Despite her shortcomings and mistakes, which we all have, her courage made her one of the leading struggle icons that we will remember for years to come.
When former Police Commissioner George Fivaz was interviewed recently by eNCA Xoli Mngambi, he said that after thorough investigations into allegations that Mrs Winnie Mandela or that
killing of Stompie Seipei no evidence was found to support such allegations. Most South Africans were not aware of such exoneration until this interview was published, which sadly took place after Mrs Mandela had passed away.
To help the family to find closure to this chapter, I believe that former Police Commissioner George Fivaz needs to meet with the family to apologise for remaining for so long after this matter has come forth and continued to hang over Mama’s head. I know that such a visit will be appreciated by the family.
The despicable in human humiliation that Mama Winnie was subjected to when she was incarcerated is not widely known. However, her ability to forgive those who so shamefully treated her when she was in a lonely dark Cell without any recourse to proper sanitation is testament to the big heart she had.
Those who continue to vilify Mama Winnie even after what Mr Fivaz had said will be surprised to learn that after her release from prison besides attending her Methodist Church regularly she visited a number of churches.
In one of the churches she visited I saw her responding to an alter call to give her life to Jesus. According to Acts 2:21 and Rom 10:13 every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Whenever we lose a member of this House it is a reminder that our days on earth are short. We might be next on line. That is why it is very important that we prepare ourselves for eternity and respond to the call of salvation.
I also want to give a word of advice to some Christians who are often quick to judge particularly when they don’t know what the deceased last prayer was. When Jesus was on the cross, one of the criminals hanging next to him said to him, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And in his response, Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise;” without reminding that criminal of his offences.
Mama Winnie who was known to be a prayerful woman is gone. My prayer is that her children and grandchildren would follow in her footsteps and be men and women of prayer as their mother was. I want to encourage the family that the Lord Jesus is your
strength; allow the one who holds your future in his hand to hold you hand and lead you beside still waters.
I spoke to Zindzi Mandela this morning who said that it is difficult without mama which understandable. But I also want to remind Zindzi that Jesus Christ who holds your future in his hand is able to ensure that you make it through these darkest hours. I pray that He will heal your broken hearts, comfort your souls and assure you all that when you pass through the waters and storms of life He will be with you; and when you walk through the fire you will not be consumed.
May the goodness of the Lord lead you all to salvation and may the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be your potion. Thank you.
Mr L M NTSHAYISA: Deputy Speaker, don’t expect me to preach as the Reverend has been doing here ... [Laughter.] ... but then somewhere he missed the point. Greetings to the families of the deceased! I am happy that we are now going to pay tribute to Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as the AIC because she comes from
my region, Alfred Nzo, though we are about to be incorporated into KwaZulu-Natal, to that region of Harry Gwala. [Interjections.]
We convey our condolences to the family of Winnie Madikizela- Mandela. Comrade Winnie was a stalwart and that will never be forgotten. She was a selfless leader, not interested in any positions. To show her discipline and humbleness, she listened when she was instructed to withdraw her name from being voted as the Deputy President in Mahikeng. I was one of the delegates there. So, she listened and she was a disciplined member.
She devoted her life to the service of the people. She was a very diligent and a strong woman who could not just accept any nonsense but the freedom of the people of South Africa. Her contribution to the struggle made us to be where we are today. It is therefore befitting to celebrate her life. She endured a lot and enjoyed little, even after the political freedom had been obtained.
I agree with hon Julius Malema when he said she was rather ... [Interjections.] I am sorry, you are not a woman my son. I am sorry. [Laughter.] When he said Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a president that we did not have. It is true because she was a very powerful woman. She was just unlucky not even to be given just a little chance to head any of the government departments but she never complained.
Zindzi and Zenani, members of the Mandela and Madikizela families, the ANC members, friends and compatriots, we have lost a woman that was cherished by all, even internationally. She was not too much of a lady; she was a very strong woman. It is done; that is the way to go. Let us soldier on until we get it all.
May her soul rest in peace! Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M A PLOUAMMA: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Speaker, hon Chairperson of the NCOP and hon members, we will never be forgiven for treating Mme Winnie as if she was Eugene de Kock. We even treated children of apartheid well and even made Marthinus van Schalkwyk a Minister. We also treated the last
apartheid President, Mr F W de Klerk, better. We did not give her the honour she deserved.
Mme Winnie was hated because she refused token crumbs of white supremacy. She stood against those who sold our revolution and made a pact with apartheid killers. Even when she was alive, she was treated like a mysterious relic, only visited to wash away people’s sins and their guilty conscience. Mme Winnie is our identity. She has personified what we aspire to be as Africans. This is how we must honour the mother of the nation.
Let us change Alexander to be like Sandton. Let us change Khayelitsha to be like Constantia Park and Camps Bay. Let us drive this economy to belong to our people. Let us not hesitate to take the mines and give them over to communities which are operating them. To the Mandela family: Know that those who speak badly of our mother of the nation do equally speak badly of black beauty, black price and African identity in general.
Mme Winnie, your spirit will forever guide our conscience. In your name, we will never surrender until we realise the
spiritual, physical, cultural and economic emancipation of Africans. Even in heaven, continue to protect us Mama Winnie, from the dangerous spirits of Verwoerds and Vorsters which still manifest themselves through racism in South Africa.
There is no beauty in death; no beauty in mourning. Mme Winnie, you showed us a way. We will never let you down. I want to say this to the Mandela family: Know very well that we will keep you forever in our hearts. You pain is our pain. We thank God for allowing people like us – mere mortals – to live during the time of this giant. Rest in peace, mama! I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr N T GODI: Hon Deputy Speaker, comrades and hon members, the APC joins Parliament in celebrating and saluting the life and a sterling contribution to our liberation struggle of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She faced and survived the savagery and brutality of the white minority state. She epitomised the Africanist motto: Serve, surfer and sacrifice!
On behalf of all the Africanists, we honour her. We had no issues with her. Her militancy and activism resonated with our
line. She was banished to Brandfort in the Free State, which also served as the banishment place for our late President Zephania Mothopeng, upon his release from his fist stint on Robben Island in the late 1960s. When some within her movement condemned her in the late 1980s, our leader Zephania Mothopeng publicly refused to condemn her.
We gave her a rousing welcome when she came to be with us in Umthatha Stadium at the funeral of General Sabelo Phama, our beloved and heroic chief commander of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army, Apla, in February 1994. May her soul rest in o power! May she continue long into the future to inspire generations of young activists to remain true to the course of Africa!
May we, in her memory, not renege in the course for the repossession of our land, the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank and the establishment of a state bank and state insurance company as tools for far reaching socioeconomic transformation to end inequality! Izwe lethu!
Mr L V MAGWEBU: Hon Deputy Speaker, hon Speaker, hon Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mama Thandi Modise, members of the House, fellow South Africans, Maya Angelou once wrote: “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us all together again and again.”
Look at us this afternoon, as we gather in this august House to pay tribute and celebrate the life of Mama Winnie Madikizela- Mandela. This august House, as I was thinking before I came to the podium, is one the legacies she bequeathed to us to ensure that we debate and ponder the future of South Africa both of us, black and white, to ensure that when we die, as we all shall die someday, we live a better country than the one we found for our children’s sake just like she did.
Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela ...
... ngumthi omkhulu owileyo, umama wesizwe negorhakazi kwade kwasekufeni.
Mama Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela during the dark and cold days of apartheid you were like a candle in the wind. You provided light in the midst of darkness and for that we are eternally grateful. You provided hope in the midst of pain and suffering and once again, for that we are indeed eternally grateful.
Bob Riley once wrote: “Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during hard times when the hero within us is revealed.” Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela confronted and challenged apartheid and all its brutality and demanded freedom for all of us, for our children and generations to come. For that, we are forever grateful.
Sticks and batons broke her body but they couldn’t break her fighting spirit. No amount of torture, banishment and harassment could silence you Mama. Sidney Sheldon once wrote: “My heroes are those who risk their lives everyday to protect our world and to make it a better place.”
To your beautiful daughters, Zinzi and Zenani, we say thank you for sharing your mother with us as South African nation. We know it wasn’t easy and for that again we are eternally grateful. May the good Lord richly bless you as we continue to ponder the future of South Africa.
On behalf of DA ...
... sithi lala ngoxolo gorhakazi; lala ngoxolo Mangutyana, umzamo omhle uwenzile nogqatso ulufezile.
The MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING: Hon Speaker, hon
Chairperson of the NCOP, hon Deputy Speaker and hon members, I rise on behalf of the ANC caucus to firstly express our deepest condolences to the family of Dr Zola Skweyiya and Mama Winifred Madikizela-Mandela.
Re a re go lona, matsogo a rona ke ano, re batla go a dirisa go phimola dikeledi tsa lona le fa re itse gore le rona re na le
dikeledi. O ile Mama mme o tlogela leina le re le ratang thata. Ga re kake ra mo lebala re le mokgatlo wa ANC.
The sudden passing of Mama Winnie has resulted in national grief, an outpouring of never told before anecdotes and the correct of session with retelling and reviewing her life. Hers was much more than an ordinary life. She was an extraordinary woman, a woman of substance who made an indelible contribution to our history, our struggle and our freedom.
Winnie was a true and faithful cadre of the liberation movement. She was one of the finest examples of a dedicated and disciplined member of the ANC until her dying day. She never joined any other party. She never formed any other organisation. [Applause.] She would be horrified at the efforts directed at separating her massive contribution from her loyalty to the ANC.
At her memorial service held at the O R Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha, her compatriot Mama Comrade Mildred Lesia said:
Ndiyaniva nonke nithetha ngomam’uWinnie, nithetha ngoWinnie umpolitiki, umkhululi kodwa ze ningalibali ukuthetha ngoWinnie obengumfazi omhle kakhulu. Yhuuu! UWinnie ebemhle.
Her political awareness began when she was young and was shaped by incidence of racism she observed as a child, the humiliation of black adults she witnessed regularly and her direct observation that things were not right in South Africa. These early experiences shaped her love of justice and her readiness to defend all those who could not defend themselves. She believed that all must have the courage to resist and respond.
She was born in 1936, a year in which fascism was on the rise in Europe. She grew up in the war years of the Second World War.
Even though apartheid was not yet a formal policy, racism and colonial attitudes were very present in South Africa then. One of the practices Mama Winnie does not need from us is that which often happens once the living retells the history of the
renowned leaders who have left us. Those who orate for those who have gone have a tendency to practice historical revisionism.
They rewrite the historic contribution in the guise of apologists who knowing their limited contribution wish to insert themselves into the history of heroines and heroes in the pretence that they too were there and shaped history. [Applause.]
Winnie wrote her own history in action each day of her life, as a learner, as a student, as a grown woman and as a political leader and activist. Her contribution can only be diminished by those who seek to amend it to make themselves seem greater or to wage a political battle in which they know they are inadequate without her political clout. We must tell her history as she lived and shaped it.
She became politicised long before she met President Mandela. As a social worker she began to do research on Alexandra Township due to her concerns about high levels of infant mortality she witnessed at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. She was appalled at the conditions she observed on visiting Soweto and Alexandra
at the dire living conditions of black people. She took an active interest in changing these conditions. All of you here known how fiercely protective she was, how she hated unfairness and oppression.
Mama Winnie distinguished herself in her partnership with Nelson Mandela. The two can never be separated. They are one and the same thing and no one must try to separate them. [Applause.] She was very young when they met and they fell very much in love.
They were married in Johannesburg on 25 May 1958 and were separated for most of their married life, he on Robben Island and she in various parts of our country and the world. During her husband’s 27-year incarceration, she campaigned tirelessly for his release. She established a massive personal following. But there can never be a severing of Winnie and our former President Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela is a national hero and equally Winnie by her actions and resolute contribution is a national heroine. [Applause.]
Winnie has always been and will always be respected within the ANC. She was a Member of Parliament until her death and a source
of political wisdom and encouragement to many of us. Yes, there were problems; yes, there were difficulties; and yes, there was unfairness, but you can’t separate Winnie from the ANC. [Applause.]
In her last interview, given in March this year and rebroadcasted on Easter Monday afternoon by the state broadcasters, she spoke of how she had always put the collective good of the ANC before her individual wellbeing. She expressed her worry about unemployment that remains at an historic high across the general population and as high as two out of three among young people. She expressed her concern about corruption that has undermined public finances as well as public confidence in the state. She didn’t mince her words - never has and never did.
Winnie helped to lay the foundation through her activism for a democratic South Africa. If we pretend as we speak today that there has been no change in South Africa, we diminish the contribution of Comrade Winnie. [Applause.] To suggest that her lifelong contribution to freedom and to struggle didn’t result
in a change, you diminish her contribution. Inspired by her, free South Africa has made great progress, of course not enough, but progress nevertheless. Her contribution made progress towards building a truly nonracial, nonsexist and democratic South Africa. Together through her we have begun to establish a country that is dedicated to patriotism, nation building and reconciliation.
What would Mama Winnie say as she looks at us and listens to us sitting here extolling her virtues, telling her story and expressing our admiration and gratitude? I suspect she would be impatient with us. She might think we are lazy in approaching the urgency of our contemporary challenges. She would remind us, as David Diop does in his evocative poem, Africa my Africa.
She would say, as he did:
Africa, tell me Africa
Is this your back that is unbent
This back that never breaks under the weight of humiliation This back trembling with red scars
And saying no to the whip under the midday sun
But a grave voice answers me
Impetuous child that tree, young and strong That tree over there
Splendidly alone amidst white and faded flowers That is your Africa springing up anew
Springing up patiently, obstinately Whose fruit bit by bit acquires
The bittertaste of liberty.
She would remind us that our backs must not be bent and must not break under the weight of humiliation. She would remind us that though our backs tremble with scars and we shield ourselves from the whip of oppression, this is Africa, our South Africa, springing up anew, as patiently and obstinately, as Mama was.
Yes, this fruit of freedom has the bitter taste of liberty. Nevertheless, this is our legacy from her, and all our freedom fighters, and we do not have the luxury of wasting time remoulding her history. We must get on with the task of infusing her legacy of freedom with the sweet taste of belonging, economic inclusion and equality. Rather than looking to the past, Mama Winnie would expect us to look to the future, to
build on the foundation for which she sacrificed herself and her family. Don’t mourn her only with eulogies, tributes and fine speeches. Mourn her by taking action and continuing the national democratic revolution.
Celebrate her contribution by giving as much attention to the poor as she did. Change the lives of the most vulnerable in our country as she so dearly wished. Celebrate her by studying hard and by developing skills to serve the people with quality care. Celebrate her by making a practical reality of that ambition she upheld, that of achieving a better life for all, and a better life most especially for the poorest and most marginalised in our country and on the continent of Africa. She would expect us as public representatives to live our daily lives making a difference to the life of our people and not cat-calling at each other and not hailing insults. An insult does not build a road; an insult does not build houses and an insult does not educate our nation. In fact, the levels of insults we held at each other are the reason for the violence we are seeing in our society because we are not an example to our nation. [Applause.] But indeed through expressing our differences by engagement, through
teaching the building of consensus, through articulating the importance of negotiation and not through burning buildings, not through burning libraries, not through raping women, not through murdering women, not through killing our girl-children, but through learning to engage without violence. That is what we should be engaged in doing. Mama Winnie did her part. Given the massive contribution she made, what she has left us with is a giant test on whose shoulders we stand. The question we must answer is since she gave us this advantage what use does we make of this higher reach. That is all she would expect from us. We thank you and we express our deepest condolences to all the family...
... re a re, Mama a robale ka kagiso. Kagiso e e tla tlang ka ditiro tse re tla di dirang re le Palamente ya Aforika Borwa e e emetseng Maaforika Borwa otlhe. Ga re lebelele mmala wa motho, re emetse mongwe le mongwe yo o agileng mo nageng eno. Ke yone tiro e re tshwanetseng gore re e fe maatla, maatla a a neng a tla le Mama fa a ne a re lwela gore re kgone go tsena mo
Ntlongkgolo eno gore re direle setšhaba sa rona. Ke a leboga. [Legofi.]
Members rose to observe a moment of silence in memory of the late Ms Nomzamo Winfred Madikizela–Mandela.
The Joint Sitting adjourned at 17:00.