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Make Brandfort better, says Malema

Simphiwe Dana at the EFF memorial for Winnie Mandela in Brandfort.
Simphiwe Dana at the EFF memorial for Winnie Mandela in Brandfort.

EFF leader Julius Malema yesterday called on the government to provide the community of Brandfort in the Free State with better infrastructure.

The EFF yesterday held their own memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in the province.

"We ask that the government to build a TVET [Technical Vocational Education and Training] college for Mama Winnie's children and a 24-hour clinic here," he said to roaring applause.

Malema also urged local mines to give shares to members of the community.

The memorial was held across the street from the house where Madikizela-Mandela spent her banishment in 1977.

Malema also highlighted the contentious issue of the house which was allocated about R3-million in order for it to become a national monument.

The building had deteriorated and was occupied by squatters before being taken over by municipal security.

"They could not protect house number 802 but they protected the statue of Rhodes. They protect symbols that remind us of our oppression," he expressed.

EFF MP Nazier Paulsen said Brandfort was the most significant place to remember Madikizela-Mandela.

"This is the most fitting place because this was her Robben Island, where the world should descend to honour her memory."

EFF chairman Dali Mpofu introduced two of Madikizela-Mandela's close friends.

Norah Moahloli, a retired local teacher and friend for 40 years, said she has patiently waited for Winnie's house to be turned into a monument.

"I have boxes full of memories in preparation for when the museum is finally built. People would love to know about Winnie," she said.

Nomazotsho Memani, of the Women's League, highlighted the difficulties Madikizela-Mandela faced as a woman in the ANC.

"We knew people did not want her because she was a threat to them and, so at the conference of 1993, we brought her back as the leader of the ANCWL."

City of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said: "She spoke truth to the old regime and she spoke truth to the current government. I learnt from Mama Winnie that politics is not for sissies. Today we have plastic politicians who are there for their stomachs."

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