“Although Mama Madikizela-Mandela made some well-documented errors of judgment during her life‚ she remained committed to the vulnerable and was often the first at the scene of a tragedy to provide comfort and compassion to those impacted by it‚” he said.
The chairperson of the African Union Commission‚ Moussa Faki Mahamat‚ said from Addis Ababa: "Winnie Madikazela-Mandela was an icon of the liberation struggle against apartheid in South Africa. She will forever be remembered as a fearless campaigner who sacrificed much of her life for freedom in South Africa. She never relented in her struggle or wavered in her commitment‚ despite imprisonment‚ banishment‚ and decades-long separation from her then husband Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment".
"The entire African Union family joins the continent in grief at the passing of Winnie Madikazela-Mandela. On this sad occasion‚ the chairperson conveys his heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of South Africa." Mmusi Maimane‚ leader of the Democratic Alliance‚ said: "We join the African continent and freedom lovers all over the world in mourning the passing of a true freedom fighter and an iconic South African. . . She stands as a bright light that shone a way forward for many others. Even while she opposed the apartheid government‚ she stood for principle‚ and her values outlast the struggle and apply to this day."
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba sent condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families. "Mama Winnie has remained a formidable force against injustice‚ a roaring voice when it was dangerous to do so and a symbol of the great shoulders this country has stood on over the years.
"I will not misremember her role in fuelling many with the fire to continue the long fight against apartheid. It is important that I say aluta continua to a struggle hero‚ mother of the nation and the woman who roared until the ground beneath her moved to her demands‚" said Mashaba. "Hers was a life well lived and filled with a deep commitment to a long service to the people of this country. The nation mourns and celebrates your life’s selfless and fierce work. This untimely departure leaves an indelible mark in our history and calls for a moment of reflection."
Zwelinzima Vavi's South African Federation of Trade Unions said it lowered its flags in Madikizela-Mandela's honour.