Mama Winnie would say 'never show your enemies when you are hurting'‚ says Nomvula Mokonyane
Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on Tuesday painted a picture of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a woman of strength who persevered even through the deep oppression she suffered under the apartheid government.
“When you were in pain‚ Mama would say this is the time when you never show your enemies you are hurting. In fact it is time when you must give hope to the others because [your pain] will make others to be much more reluctant‚” Mokonyane said in an interview on SABC show Morning Live.
Mokonyane said she and Madikizela-Mandela had shared a mother and daughter relationship. She said Madikizela-Mandela had been her strength when her home was petrol bombed and when she lost her son.
“When I lost my son‚ Mama lifted me from the mourning bed where she actually said you have to rise and give your son the best send-off. She stayed with us and wanted to take over the running around with me‚” Mokonyane said.
She praised Madikizela-Mandela’s character‚ saying she had stood firm in her beliefs‚ despite adversity.
“Even at a time when the ANC had to take action against her‚ she never thought of leaving the ANC‚” Mokonyane said.
Among the fond memories she shared was being at her house along with other women when Madikizela-Mandela informed them that her husband‚ Nelson Mandela‚ was coming home after being imprisoned for more than two decades.
“She went to go and check on the pot and was stirring it with a big wooden spoon. She then stopped stirring and started singing [a struggle song] and all of us went to the kitchen. The pot was burning and we said‚ ‘The pot is burning‚ Mama.’ She said‚ ‘The pots should rather burn and women go out and free this country.’ I think it was an interesting moment when you reflect on it‚” Mokonyane said.
She described Madikizela-Mandela’s passing as a shock because they had spoken on Good Friday.
Madikizela-Mandela passed away on Monday following a long illness. She had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She was 81.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela‚ a stalwart in the fight against apartheid‚ died on Monday April 2 2018 in Johannesburg at the age of 81 following a “long illness”, her family said.