'There are many who we trusted, now they betray us'

The ANC's Ace Magashule says that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela wasn’t afforded recognition because many who the party recognised, betrayed it.

Ace Magashule takes to the stage at the ANC memorial for Winnie Mandela at the UJ Soweto campus on Monday 9 April 2018. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule says the party didn’t honour late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela while she was still alive because it’s not in the traditions of the party.

Magashule made these comments during the liberation hero’s remembrance week, when many are accusing the party of not doing enough to recognise her.

The 81-year-old was being honoured at memorial services throughout the country on Monday night.

Magashule says that Madikizela-Mandela wasn’t afforded recognition because many who the party recognised, betrayed it.

“In the ANC traditions and culture, we don’t show recognition when the person is still alive because we don’t know if they will betray you tomorrow. There are many who we trusted, now they betray us.”

However, the ANCYL’s Sifiso Mtsweni believes otherwise.

“That award is long overdue. Mama Winnie Mandela was supposed to be honoured as Isithwalandwe when she was still alive.”

He says that league expects the party to honour Madikizela-Mandela in the next 8th January celebrations.

Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) has called on former president Thabo Mbeki to apologise for statements he made recently regarding Madikizela-Mandela.

During a provincial ANC memorial for Madikizela Mandela at UJ’s Soweto campus, the congress told members that it was disrespectful of Mbeki to label the stalwart as populist.

The memorial is part of other events held across the country to honour the freedom fighter who died last week.

Cosas president John Macheke said the congress will not stop demanding for an apology from Mbeki until he issues one.

He said they have taken many life lessons from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and that she should be recognised for her contributions.

In her honour, Macheke said the congress plans to name its heritage site after her.