This morning our Chairperson, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat paid his respects on our behalf to the family, the people of South Africa and the African National Congress at the Mandela family home in Orlando Soweto. His visit follows the communique that he issued on 2 April following the announcement of the untimely passing away of Mama Nomzano Winnie Madikizela Mandela, one of Africa's fallen heroes.
This is a time of grief for Africa and her Diaspora and it is therefore with a great deal of emotion that I stand before you today, on behalf of the AUC Chairperson and AU Commission, to pay tribute to Nomzano Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a woman of incredible strength, pride, love, determination and a woman who was able to keep alive the torch of freedom despite years of torture, harassment and hardship.
Our hearts are heavy for the loss of this pride daughter of our beautiful continent.
But we know that she would have wanted us to celebrate her life. One vital to the ending Apartheid and shaping the history and destiny of her country, our continent and the world. A life that made us conscious of our duties to Africa.
Mama Winnie, you became a household name and the symbol of our continent's unwavering will to achieve self-determination, resist oppression and take our destiny in our own hands. You inspired millions of Africans across the continent and the light in your eyes was a compass of hope for women and girls. Your warm smile and unparalleled beauty were reverberations of the unique gifts our continent has been endowed with.
Sisters and brother gathered here today, H.E the Chairperson of the AUC stated in his obituary on Monday April 2nd: "Nomzano WinnieMadikizela-Mandela paved the way for women in the struggle to end apartheid and fought relentlessly for their rights and welfare in her country". However, I have no doubt that...