South Africa 26.9.2017 01:38 pm

Malema wishes the ‘first female president of SA’ a happy birthday

Julius Malema, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Cyril Ramaphosa at her 80th birthday.

Julius Malema, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Cyril Ramaphosa at her 80th birthday.

As she turns 81, it seems a new and even more prestigious title has been bestowed on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Julius Malema took to Twitter on Tuesday to wish Winnie Madikizela-Mandela a happy 81st birthday.

Clearly in a playful mood, he referred to her as South Africa’s first female president, which was clearly a dig at the ANC and Jacob Zuma’s campaign to have Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma replace him as the head of the country.

He has long had a warm and close relationship with “Mama Winnie” and he shared a photo of himself in younger years when she was actively mentoring him as someone she believed could be a future president.

Last year her birthday celebrations brought Malema together with what was presumably his foe, Cyril Ramaphosa, and they smiled happily in photos with the “Mother of the Nation”, who received several compliments on how good she was looking at 80 – so much so that there were rumours she’d undergone plastic surgery, which Nelson Mandela’s former wife immediately denied.

Tributes and well-wishes have been streaming in for the octogenarian, who is globally famous. Born on 26 September 1936, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is one of South Africa’s most celebrated liberation icons. The controversial South African activist and politician is one of the few remaining African National Congress leaders from Nelson Mandela’s era. She was married to Madiba for 38 years, including the 27 years during which he was imprisoned. Despite their divorce, she continued to be in Madiba’s life years after he remarried and was seen visiting her former husband daily when he was receiving treatment at Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria prior to his passing.

Madikizela-Mandela has held several government positions including leader of the ANC Women’s League. She has long served as an MP, though rarely actually makes an appearance in parliament.

She has been very outspoken about the anarchy in parliament and crisis in government.

Coincidentally, Madikizela-Mandela’s birthday falls on the same day as the EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu’s birthday. The two allegedly had an affair in the 1990s. The EFF has, however, strongly denied that this ever happened.

– Additional reporting by Caxton Central

 

today in print