4 April 2018

The nation has received with shock and sadness news of the passing away of our struggle Icon Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela. We wish to pass our condolences to the Mandela and Madikizela families, relatives, friends and colleagues. We are consoled by the news from the family that she succumbed peacefully in the early hours of the afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones. Our thoughts are with you in these difficult times.

As AMCU we commit to carry forward the legacy of Mama Winnie who was the center of the struggle for our liberation from the tentacles of colonialism and apartheid. She was subjected to fascist vilification using numerous security systems to isolate and libel her work and struggle for South Africans. As a nation, we will forever be indebted to this heroin and freedom fighter.

To date, our people are still subjected to numerous injustices within the prism of neo – liberalism and imperialism. The workplace continues to be a contested terrain supporting a proscribed economic system which draws legitimacy from a flawed constitutional democracy. AMCU will endeavor to fight for social justice for all in the workplace.

The injustices ushered in by the National Minimum Wage and recent Labor Relations Amendments which seek to undermine the right to strike call for re-invigoration of the spirits of our struggle icons of the generation of Mama Winnie that confronted the injustices of apartheid oppression and economic exclusion head on.

Despite the malign attacks meted at Mama Winnie, she remained resolute and pursued her vision for a free South Africa like a gallant martyr. Her defiance campaign provided hope to millions of South Africans in the face of adversity.

Despite numerous setbacks and challenges, her spirits were never dampened as she continued to speak truth to power. As a union, we take a cue from the nature and character of Mama Winnie’s struggle understanding that no one can ever change anything by conforming.

Fundamental change requires fundamental sacrifice and South Africans need to awaken to the reality of Frantz Fanon’s theorizing that “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.”

The generation of Mama Winnie was unequivocal in its fight against the injustices of apartheid. It is upon us in the present and future generation to properly define our struggles and pursue them instead of postponing our mission in search of temporary and artificial comfort from the crumbs of capitalism. Freedom can never be complete with in-advent exclusion of millions of South Africans from economic participation.

We bid farewell to a giant of our lifetime and pray for her soul to rest in eternal peace.