Joburg honours Mam Winnie

The Executive Mayor, Cllr Herman Mashaba, has posthumously conferred the Freedom of the City to anti-apartheid stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at a council event attendeby her family.
The Freedom of the City is the highest honour the municipality can confer on any illustrious individual or group in recognition of their efforts in flying the City’s flag high globally. “This honour is long overdue,” said Mayor Mashaba at the conferment ceremony held on Tuesday, 25 September, inside the oval-shaped Council Chamber, a day before Madikizela-Mandela’s birthday. She would have turned 82 today. He said Madikizela-Mandela deserves much higher honours than the ones the City was proposing to bestow upon her but it is the least we can do in appreciation of a life lived for the upliftment of all of us. The ceremony was attended by Madikizela-Mandela’s children, Zindzi and Zenani and grandson Zondwa Mandela.
“It is indeed shameful that we had to wait until the passing of Mam’uWinnie to recognise her for her contribution to this country’s freedom,” said Mayor Mashaba. In the 1960s and much of the 1970s, when the ANC and other liberation movements were banned and forced underground, it was Madikizela-Mandela who kept the flame of liberation burning. When South Africa’s memories of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and others were beginning to fade, it was Madikizela-Mandela who refreshed our collective memories, putting her then incarcerated husband top of mind. When the Nationalist Party government thought they had relegated the memory of Nelson Mandela to the dustbin of history, Winnie revived it.
“Madikizela-Mandela’s belief in the centrality of individual freedom alongside the need for social and economic freedom, as the best means for creating a free society, should resonate with all of us. Through her numerous acts of defiance, she sought not only to protest against all the evil policies that were implemented by the apartheid government but also protested against the apartheid government itself,” the Mayor said. Mayor Mashaba called on Council to expedite the approval of a proposal to name the City of Johannesburg’s Council Chambers after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

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