Anyaoku Mourns Winnie Mandela

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Former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has described the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as the exit of a true champion of the struggle for the freedom and dignity of Africans against the inhuman policy of apartheid that existed in South Africa.

Anyaoku, in a statement issued wednesday, pointed out that Winnie was for many years, the soul and public face of the anti-apartheid struggle while her husband, Nelson Mandela, was in prison.

He said: “Her sacrifice to the struggle was immense. For example, she suffered banishment by the apartheid regime to a solitary area in Brandfort for a number of years.

“I remember the iconic and unforgettable picture of Winnie and Nelson Mandela walking hand in hand from Victor Verster prison on the day of Nelson’s release in February 1990 after 27 years as a prisoner.

“And I recall with nostalgia her grace and dignity at my very first official dinner as Commonwealth Secretary-General which my wife and I hosted in London on July 5, 1990, in honour of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

“Winnie’s passing is indeed an exit of a true champion of the struggle for the freedom and dignity of Africans against the inhuman policy of apartheid that existed in South Africa then.

“My wife and I join her two daughters, Zenani and Zindziwa, and all the people of South Africa in mourning the demise of a woman who, notwithstanding her human frailties, was indeed a great historic figure.”