THE labour movement has charged African leaders to immortalise the memory of the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela and sustain her legacy.
Winnie, an anti-apartheid freedom fighter and former wife of Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest at a massively attended funeral at the weekend in her township of Soweto. Winnie Madikizela Mandela died at Easter at the age of 81 in South Africa.
Addressing the eighth African Regional Executive Committee, in Dakar, Senegal last Thursday, the Vice President (Africa) of the Geneva-based industrial global union, Comrade Issa Aremu, said sustaining the legacies of Winnie Madikizela Mandela amounts to “throwing apartheid permanently into the dust-bin of history”, failing which he said “Africa risks resurrection of the evil of apartheid which Winnie courageously confronted at immeasurable costs.”
Comrade Aremu, who addressed the 8th Regional Executive Council meeting of the global union in Senegal described the iconic heroine of South African liberation as “the mother of the modern democratic South African Nation and the Continent, Africa!”
The Nigerian labour leader who is also NEC member of NLC recalled that together with her late husband, Nelson Mandela Winnie epitomised remarkable sacrifices for the freedom of all of us against the tyranny of apartheid.
“Lest we forget, not long ago racist South Africa shamelessly separated the beautiful peoples of that great country on account of their God-given colors. Apartheid South Africa even callously separated young handsome husband – Mandela from his beautiful wife, Winnie for 27 years! Winnie courageously joined the millions who fought and defeated apartheid.”
The labour leader urged trade unionists especially female unionists in Africa to learn from the leadership example of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, adding that as a stateswoman, “She was labour friendly, a working class stalwart who favored minimum wage and decent work for the workers.
“She combined rare multiple roles of a woman: a mother, grandmother, freedom fighter, party organiser and a parliamentarian among others. She was a good woman who exhibited unconditional love for others.”
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