President Jacob Zuma on Monday wished struggle stalwart and African National Congress veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela a “happy 80th birthday”.
“On behalf of government and the nation as a whole, I would to like convey our good wishes and hearty congratulations to you as you turn 80 years old today, on 26 September,” said Zuma in a statement issued by the presidency.
“You dedicated your adult life to the struggle for liberation and sacrificed life’s comforts, flying the flag for freedom and fighting repression, injustice and inequality valiantly and courageously. You raised your children single-handedly with Tata Nelson Mandela in prison, facing banning, banishment, imprisonment and ongoing harassment by the security police.
“Your resilience and tenacity of spirit in the face of this most brutal onslaught on your person and family, including demonisation by the apartheid regime, will always serve as a reminder especially to the young members of our nation, that the freedom that we enjoy today was not free,” said Zuma.
The president also commended Madikizela-Mandela for remaining unwavering in the quest for a better society, a free, united, nonsexist, nonracial, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
“Thank you for remaining unwavering in standing with the poor and downtrodden at all times. We are grateful for the gift of your life,” said Zuma.
“We wish you a happy warm enjoyable birthday today. May you have many more and continue to serve as an inspiration to the whole nation, especially the youth.”
– African News Agency (ANA)