THE OFFICIAL ANC NEWSPAPER

Botswana honours Mama Winnie 

ANC Bokone Bophirima Provincial Chairperson, Supra Mahumapelo, described the late struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as an exceptional mother, a good role model and a fearless revolutionary who was always in the forefront of opposing a cruel apartheid system in South Africa.
Speaking at a memorial service organized by the South African High Commission together with the Association of South Africans living in Botswana to honour the late Mama Winnie, Mahumapelo said this Mother of the Nation was a true freedom fighter. She was also an inspiration to many people, especially women, not only in South Africa but across  the whole world, he said. 
“Mama Winnie inspired many of our people in Africa because she was not afraid to confront any form of injustices that were committed by the apartheid government in South Africa. Her contribution to the struggle will always be remembered and be told to more generations to come on our continent and the rest of the world,” said the Provincial Chairperson, who was invited to Botswana in his capacity as Premier of Bokone Bophirima. 
The memorial service in Botswana was part of the week-long mourning activities organised worldwide to remember Madikizela-Mandela for her role in the struggle for South Africa’s liberation.
Madikizela-Mandela passed away on Monday 2 April at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, after a long illness that saw her being in and out of hospital since the beginning of the year.
Mahumapelo encouraged young women to learn more from this exceptional struggle icon. 
“It was so amazing that even though the apartheid system deliberately put her through the worst form of treatment, she never gave up to fight for what is right. Young women of today must take that from her, they must never give up and always do not let any unjust situation take them down,” he said.
Botswana’s Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Dorcas Makgato, said Mdikizela-Mandela was a true inspiration to many women in Botswana. 
“We are joining South Africans in mourning, remembering and celebration of the life well lived. We are bidding farewell to a strong woman, her character and role on earth will always be missed by many of us on this continent,” she said.
Botswana is one of the countries that housed freedom fighters and gave them the right to pass through the country as they fled into exile during the apartheid era. 
Motsei Rapelana of the Association of South Africans living in Botswana also said: “One of the best, strong women leaders of our country has departed and as South Africans in Botswana we are also mourning and celebrating her life. This was our leader on the ground who was hated by the apartheid system, which did everything in their power to destroy her, but failed dismally”. 
South African High Commissioner to Botswana, Rosemary Mashaba, thanked the people of Botswana and the churches for mourning and celebrating the life of Mama Winnie, who kept the struggle going during the darkest times in the country. 
“It was quite important to gather like this and celebrate the life of a woman who was bold and unapologetic about confronting an unjust system of apartheid. She ran her race so well and in the process inspired many of us on the continent to be bold as we carry on with other struggles in our lives,” she said.
Madikizela-Mandela will be laid to rest on Saturday 14 April in Johannesburg.