The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) pays tribute to Winnie Nomzano Madikizela Mandela, a woman of courage whose name was synonymous with the determination of the South African people to resist racism and injustice. Determined to break her will to fight back, the apartheid regime subjected her to continual harassment and intimidation, but her courage never faltered and her fiery spirit remained unquenched. For this, she became an iconic figure in the liberation struggle, one who epitomised the resilience of the oppressed people of her country and their determination to resist an unjust system that deprived them of their fundamental rights to dignity and equality. Truly, it could be said of Mama Winnie that those who struck her soon found that they had struck a rock.
Winnie Mandela was also be a staunch friend of the Jewish community. The SAJBD is particularly proud to look back on the meeting it organised between her and former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler, who had been active in the Canadian Free Mandela movement and was known for his support of the spouses of prisoners of conscience like herself.
We extend our condolences to her family.