Friday, November 19, 2010

ANC Statement on the Passing in South Africa of Our Stalwart and Veteran, Comrade Bertha Gxowa

Press Statement

Author : Jackson Mthembu

ANC statement on the passing on of our stalwart and veteran, Comrade Bertha Gxowa

19 November 2010

It is with deepest sadness that we announce the passing on in the early hours of this morning (19 November 2010) of one of the stalwarts of our struggle, mama Bertha Gxowa whose passing on was due to a medical complication from an operation at the Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg.

MaBertha, as she was affectionately known, would have turned 77 years next week. She joined the African National Congress (ANC) 59 years ago (in 1951) and continued to serve the movement and the people of South Africa with dignity and distinction. A leader of the historic 1956 women’s march on Union Buildings – during three decades of apartheid rule - she endured hardship at the hands of the apartheid regime which included house arrests, detentions and imprisonment because of her strong convictions and beliefs in the freedom of her people.

After the dawn of democracy in 1994, MaBertha became the founding member of the first democratic Parliament in South Africa and served in various portfolio committees until her death. During the course of struggle, MaBertha took up women’s issues, particularly the struggle for women’s emancipation, having criss-crossed the country to set up and build ANC Women’s League structures. At some stage she became ANCWL Treasurer General. She was a mother and a political mentor to many younger generation leaders of the ANC and its leagues.

We take solace in the knowledge that hours before she passed on, the Secretary General of the ANC Gwede Mantashe, National Chairperson Baleka Mbete, NEC member and fellow veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and other ANC leaders visited MaBertha in hospital. Some of these leaders were even with when she took her last gasp. We also take solace that her three daughters were with her as well when she passed on.

Details of her burial will be announced in due course following consultative meetings with the Gxowa family, ANC structures, Parliament and Government.

At this dark hour of need, we send condolences to the Gxowa family. May her soul rest in peace.

Issued by:
Jackson Mthembu
National Spokesperson

Brian Sokutu 071 671 6899

No comments: