Pan Africanist Congress founder Robert Sobukwe’s widow‚ Zondeni‚ died in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a long illness.
She had turned 91 in July.
PAC president Narius Moloto told TimesLIVE that Zondeni died in Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape‚ where the mom of four had lived a quiet life out of the limelight.
“I can confirm that at around 2am‚ Mama Sobukwe died. We are sorry and saddened by her passing and wish to pass our condolences to the family‚” Moloto said.
He said Zondeni had been admitted to hospital six weeks ago.
“We will honour her for her contribution in the (anti-apartheid) struggle. She contributed to the struggle by supporting her husband‚ Robert‚ through thick and thin.
“When Robert was arrested‚ she was there. It was her who was supporting him and raising their children while he was incarcerated.”
Moloto said the PAC leadership would meet on Wednesday to discuss Zondeni’s memorial service and funeral arrangements.
EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi was among those who paid tribute to Sobukwe on Twitter.
— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) August 15, 2018
Rest In Power Mama Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe (1927-2018). ✊🏽 Lala ngoxolo Ndlovukazi.
— Khayelihle Gumede (@K_DomGumede) August 15, 2018
Mama Zondeni Sobukwe has passed away. 😞 And at 91 years of age. She still has not seen the freedom her husband fought so endlessly for 😢
— El Grande Diego® (@DiegoSaidSo) August 15, 2018
Thanks for the sacrifices you and your husband made Mama Zondeni Sobukwe. Aluta continua ✊🏾. Rest In Perfect Power and Peace! pic.twitter.com/2sa6Z9ubTB
— Baby Brother (@Blaklez) August 15, 2018
Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe wasn't just a spouse/wife of Robert Sobukwe,but she played a vital & essential role in the fight against apartheid regime . Her family was constantly harassed by the racist apartheid police but she remained fearless,Rest in Power #MamaVeronicaSobukwe 💔
— Major General (@EliasChinemore) August 15, 2018
Rest In Peace Mama Zondeni Veronica Sobukwe. May the history books also remember your struggle ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/qSB3t3uNX9
— AB Dacosta (@AB_Broadcaster) August 15, 2018
Mama Zondeni Sobukwe struggled to have a basic necessity like an ID, but, ANC government will make noise about her & even grant a special provincial conference. #RIPMamaSobukwe
— Hloni Nyetanyane (@HloniNyetanyane) August 15, 2018
Zondeni Sobukwe received the Order of Luthuli this year for her tenacious fight for freedom and her steadfast support of incarcerated freedom fighters‚ according to the citation. She challenged the injustices meted out against the majority of South Africans‚ it continued.
Her husband died of lung cancer complications in 1978. The two had met at the University of Fort Hare.
Born Zondeni Veronica Mathe‚ she had four children: Miliswa‚ Dinilesizwe‚ Dalindyebo and Dedanizizwe‚ according to Thando Sipuye‚ an executive member of the Africentrik Study Group at Fort Hare‚ who paid tribute to her last year to commemorate her 90th birthday.
“Mama Sobukwe epitomises the collective experiences of many other Black women throughout the African continent and diaspora‚ whose roles and contributions to the liberation struggle remain unacknowledged‚ unrecognized in popular historical narratives‚ biographical memory and national consciousness‚” he wrote.
“The life story of this indomitable woman is one marked by constant neglect‚ pain and erasure‚” said Sipuye.
See his article here https://consciousness.co.za/wp-content/cache/all/zondeni-veronica-sobukwe-90-years-struggle-suffering-sacrifice/index.html
Source: TMG Digital.