The EFF has released a statement on the passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Today marks a year since the late struggle icon died after a long illness.
The party, as well as its leader Julius Malema, have sent out several tweets in honour of Madikizela-Mandela on Tuesday, with the party expressing the sentiment that the woman dubbed the “mother of the nation” “passed on the baton” of the fight for economic freedom to the party. Malema, meanwhile, posted a picture of himself and Madikizela-Mandela together, along with the proverb “Mmago ngwana o swara thipa ka bogaleng”. This directly translates to “A mother holds the knife at the sharp end”, which could be interpreted as a comment on the struggles she endured during her lifetime or a reference to the work the “mother of the nation” did to protect her metaphorical children.
The EFF statement mainly has the purpose of remembering the late icon, describing her as a “liberator, freedom fighter, and mother of the nation”, but also sees the party vowing to fight against “patriarchy” and “toxic masculinity” and taking aim at both the ANC and the media. READ MORE: EFF given a week to prove ‘apartheid-era Stratcom spies’ allegation Malema accused the ruling party of having sold out Madikizela-Mandela at her memorial service last year, and the EFF statement continues with these accusations, saying the “movement united to suppress and deny her rise in the ANC”. The statement also brings up Malema’s proposal for the Cape Town International Airport to be named after Madikizela-Mandela, which was also first mentioned at her memorial.
“It was the ANC that led the charge to reject” this proposal, the statement says, adding that the party allegedly “argued that Mama did not deserve such an honour and memory” and that they “rejected her in favour of male struggle icons”. Turning its attention to the media, the statement argues that the “memory of Madikizela-Mandela must also remind us of the role the media played in the destruction of the lives of freedom fighters”. The statement says it’s “a fact” that “no one suffered more in the hands of liberal and right-wing media” than Madikizela-Mandela, and that “Stratcom” tried to destroy her reputation as a freedom fighter, adding that the party believes that South African media has not yet “accepted its role” in doing so.
Stratcom was a group within the apartheid government that was specifically tasked to create and carry out disinformation campaigns.