The city of Johannesburg will on Tuesday September 25 honour the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela with a Freedom of the City Category 1 Award.
The award recognises and rewards the most outstanding service delivery candidate, service, or product at a national level. National government departments usually submit nominations with a motivation and the winning national department or candidate is chosen approved by a panel of judges.
Speaker of the metro’s council Vasco Da Gama said the city will honour Winnie Mandela as she was one of those candidates who led the country out of the dark days with strength, passion, and determination – motivating everyone to do more and be more in society.
Da Gama said: “Madikizela made sacrifices for the sake of freedom, endured imprisonment and beatings, was separated from her family – yet she endured. When the dust of the democratic struggle settled, she emerged with grace and dignity, working to build communities, assisting those in need to create a better South Africa.”
Da Gama’s spokesperson Lillian Kolisang said the award was the highest honour for an individual or group and was also given to the late Walter Sisulu, former president Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, the late Dr Beyers Naude, Ahmed Kathrada, Sophie De Bruyn, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Andrew Mlangeni, and Advocate George Bizos.
Da Gama said he continued to champion the belief that the city of Johannesburg should recognise the historical role that specific men and women played in the struggle for democracy in South Africa.
He hoped it would inspire others.
The family of Madikizela Mandela will receive the award representing the values enshrined in the bill of rights on her behalf.
The city spokesperson said: “There are many lessons that can be drawn from her life, lessons that empower, inspire, and build one’s integrity. It is for these reasons that it is important for the city of Johannesburg to recognize the late Mama Madikizela Mandela by conferring the freedom of the city on her, embracing her contribution not only to the establishment of a South African democracy but to leadership development and community upliftment.”
Madikizela Mandela died at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in April following a long illness.