Winnie filled an indispensable gap in the struggle against apartheid – Museveni

BRIDGET ASIIMWE

President Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to former South African first lady the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela for being the back bone of black people’s struggle in South Africa and an inspiration to others.

Eulogising her on Tuesday at South African High Commission in Kampala where he went to sign a condolence book, Museveni commended Winnie for fighting for South Africa at a young age and inspiring other nationalists to the same cause.

“So, you can see this young lady coming in to the situation and not being compromised and instead being the rock of the struggle for a long time until other people came up.” Museveni said.

Museveni said that he is a witness to the legacy of Winnie Mandela, saying that when everybody else had been put in jail, killed or run to exile, Winnie became the face of African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa.

“What I wrote in that [condolence] book is that she filled an indispensable gap in the struggle of our people [in South Africa],” Museveni said.

This, he said, led to the rise of other black fighters in South Africa.
“We started getting other voices coming up from within South Africa. But otherwise, for many years it was just Winnie Mandela,” Museveni said.

The acting South African High Commissioner to Uganda, Xolela Nofukuka said, the freedom experienced in South Africa today was achieved because of the immense contribution done by the Late Winnie Mandela.

He said, Winnie Mandela is not only respected in South Africa because she is a former wife of President Mandela, but also because she created her own branding and is now being celebrated as a heroine.

Late Winnie Wadikizela-Mandela is to be buried at Fourways cemetery in South Africa. She died on Easter Monday, April 2, at the age of 81.

She had been suffering from diabetes and also underwent several surgeries at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg.