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Condolences pour in on the passing of Robert Sobukwe's widow

By Afikile Lugunya - Aug 15, 2018
Condolences pour in on the passing of Robert Sobukwe's widow

Condolence messages have been pouring after South Africans learnt of the passing away of late struggle icon and founder of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Robert Sobukwe's widow, Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe. She was 91 years old.

Mama Zondeni, better known as mama Azania, passed away in the early hours of Wednesday after suffering from an illness.

In his condolence message, President Cyril Ramaphosa, said; “The loss – in Women’s Month - of Mama Sobukwe is a sad loss to the Sobukwe family, the Robert Sobukwe Foundation and our nation at large.

"We have lost a heroine of resistance and a fighter for the freedom of all South Africans, who continued her activism into our democratic dispensation. We will always remember and honour her extraordinary contribution.”

The African National Congress (ANC) also said the nation had lost a heroine.

"She was a part of the generation of heroines who held the torch of liberation high during our darkest hour," said Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

The PAC in the Eastern Cape said that they were saddened and have a hard time accepting the news.

 Speaking for the EC PAC spokesperson, Ndiyakholwa Ngqulu, said that Mama Sobukwe’s life is the embodiment of bravery and sacrifice in the liberation struggle of the nation guided by great feeling of love.

"She was a nurse by profession, who worked full time, a mother full time and full time activist. With her professional training as nurse this skill become useful for all the wounded guerrillas in the fight for the liberation who would come by her house for care and mama Sobukwe used this skill to advance the revolutionary cause which African people stood for," he described.

"She and the entire family were highly harassed by the apartheid government because in their small narrow mind She was just a supporting woman to her husband yet, She  was a full activist who sacrificed her home and her career in pursuing the revolution thus she could not retreat despite the terror unleashed on her family by the apartheid regime."

Ngqulu said her love has been extended to the generations that came long after apartheid.

"She like many women has been kept in the shadow of her husband yet she is a struggle icon of her own and she died a hero. Mama Sobukwe survived the racist, brutal apartheid regime and still she had to survive the black government that reduced her to nothing and gave no recognition to her and her husband sacrifices for this ‘freedom’," he noted.

"We, as PAC, are at peace because mama has asked PAC to unite and fight for African masses and the last weekend she saw PAC took this initiative. This unite to us is answering Mama Sobukwe’s wishes.

" Mother of Azania, may your soul rest in eternal peace! Farewell Mother! Farewell Fighter! Farewell Comrade! Farewell Noble Daughter of the Soil."