Updated: February 27, 2021
Africa began mourning Winnie Mandela on Monday, hours after she died in Johannesburg.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria described the passing away of South-African anti-apartheid icon as a huge loss to Africa.
[read_more id="2" more="Read full article" less="Read less"]
He referred to her as “a courageous woman”.
Mr. Buhari noted that she was a woman of uncommon determination, steadfastness and perseverance who held aloft the torch of the struggle against institutionalised discrimination even while her ex-husband, the late Madiba, President Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.
President Buhari, on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, commiserated with the family of the deceased, the government and people of South Africa, urging them to be consoled by the knowledge that the late Winnie Mandela’s contributions to ending apartheid will not be forgotten.
According to him, she remained a pride not only to the African woman, but indeed all Africans.
The President prayed that God Almighty will comfort all those who mourn the departed and grant her soul eternal rest.
President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta said he was saddened.
“This evening, I learned that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had left us. The news is saddening, for we have lost a heroine and a liberator,” he said in a statement.
“Though born before formal apartheid, she came of age in state devoted to White domination. She chose a life of service and valour, qualifying as a nurse, and devoting herself to the struggle for African liberty.
“She soon met Nelson Mandela, with whom she had a family, and whose partner in the fight for liberation she became. When he was jailed, she continued the fight — against incredible odds — and held her family together, even when she was exiled, jailed and continually tormented by the apartheid state.
“In the end, her courage was rewarded: she lived to see Mandela free; she lived to see her country liberated; and she went on to serve a free South Africa until her death.
“In the second half of the twentieth century, Africa won its liberty. We who have it can scarcely understand the trials of those who fought for it. In the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who endured and won, we see plainly what our freedom cost. May her courage inspire us to make the most of the liberty she won for us; may her family be comforted by the memory of her heroic life; and may she rest in perpetual peace”.
Former Nigerian Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala described her as “a towering figure of African womanhood and activism”.
“Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, is dead. We grew up admiring her courage and got older appreciating her challenges. She will be missed,” she wrote in a Facebook post.