Tuesday, July 26, 2016

ANC Mourns Passing of Eminent Academic and Activist Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan
18 July 2016

The African National Congress is saddened by the passing on of eminent academic, author and feminist, Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan this morning at the Beaumont Hospice in Taylor Michigan. Mama Ntantala-Jordan was 96 years old at the time of her passing. She was married to the late literary historian, Archibald Campbell Jordan and mother to ANC stalwart, Comrade Pallo Jordan.

Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan was born in the Transkei and in her own words "Like Trotsky, I did not leave home without the proverbial one-and-six in my pocket. I came from a family of landed gentry in the Transkei" She attended school at Healdtown and Lovedale and completed a degree at the Fort Hare University College. She later obtained qualifications from the University of South Africa, the University of Cape Town and the Madison Area Technical College. She was also bestowed an honorary Doctorate in Philosophy for her life's work.

During her lifetime she pursued various careers, having been a teacher, social worker, linguist, author and activist. She was an accomplished author and also translated into English author A.C. Jordan's first and last novel, Ingqumbo Yeminyanya. She authored various essays and books, including Let's Hear Them Speak, a book amplifying the voices of many unsung heroines being South African women and her autobiography, A Life's Mosaic. Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan was a prolific speaker covering literature, education, women, politics and the economics of apartheid; serving as an inspiration to great many women and men alike.

The passing of Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan has robbed South Africa and the world at large of an astute, inquisitive and inspiring mind. We have lost a champion of gender equality for African women in particular, acknowledging as she said "We are aware of the suffering of the women of other groups. We acknowledge their contribution to South Africa. We are not unmindful of their role in the Liberation Struggle. Some of these women have suffered much and have lost as a result of their involvement to make South Africa a better place for all. But it is the African women more than any others who have borne the brunt of oppression in that country. They have borne it with patience and courage and above all, they have remained human."

Mama Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan is survived by her son, Comrade Pallo Jordan and her three grandchildren, Thuli, Samantha and Nandipha. The African National Congress sends its deepest condolences to them at this time and wishes them strength during this period of profound loss.

Issued by
Zizi Kodwa
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707

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