The Democratic Alliance (DA) is profoundly saddened at the news of the passing of Ma Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who left us peacefully this afternoon. We join the African continent and freedom lovers all over the world in mourning the passing of a true freedom fighter and an iconic South African.

Affectionately known as the mother of our nation, Ma Winnie made an indelible contribution to our country.  Winnie was married to Nelson Mandela for the full duration of his 27-year incarceration, during which she kept the struggle for liberation alive during the most trying of times.

She stands as a bright light that shone a way forward for many others. Even while she opposed the apartheid government, she stood for principle, and her values outlast the struggle and apply to this day.

Throughout the struggle, she sacrificed much, constantly finding herself harassed by the apartheid state, banned, arrested, detained in solitary confinement and restricted to Brandfort – all of which failed to break her spirit and commitment to realising the dream of a united, democratic, and non-racial South Africa.

In 1985 she became the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Humans Rights Award, alongside Beyers Naude and Allen Boesak, for her contribution to the struggle for freedom in South Africa.

Ma Winnie, you will always be remembered for your selfless and steadfast commitment to our democracy. May your spirit live on, and we thank you for your service.