City Mayor Herman Mashaba has proposed the city’s council chambers be named after struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela.
Speaking in the council chambers, where the metro met to honour the late Madikizela Mandela with a freedom of the city category 1 award, Mashaba said: “We are Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and she is us.”
He proposed the name change for the city’s council chambers adding that no one could forget when Winnie, after many stints in detention, emerged and declared: “There is nothing that the apartheid government can do to me anymore.”
Madikizela Mandela’s dream for a democratic South Africa remains a dream deferred according to Mashaba. “Her sacrifices have been reduced to nothing but a footnote. We see this as she has been referred to as ‘Nelson Mandela’s wife.”
He reminded council members that it was Winnie who kept the memory of the ANC burning in the 1960s and rekindled the memory of Nelson Mandela.
The freedom of the city 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 honoured 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.”
The family of Madikizela Mandela received the award representing the values enshrined in the bill of rights on her behalf.
The freedom of the city award 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.