Late Gugs struggle activist honoured

Women from all over Cape Town sing and dance during the tribute to political stalwart Nomazotsho Zihlangu.

The life of veteran struggle activist, Nomazotsho Zihlangu was commemorated in Gugulethu last Sunday.

Family, friends, her organisation the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL)and residents gathered at the local church hall for the day to pay tribute to the late mother of Gugulethu.

Family and friends wore black and white with many wearing the colours of her organisation.

Her family and the ANCWL said they had to commemorate her excellent contribution to the struggle for gender equality and for her selfless contribution to the struggle for a free and democratic South Africa.

Mama Zihlangu died of natural causes in 1991.

She received many accolades including the Order of Luthuli in Silver, for her role in the anti-apartheid movement.

She was involved in founding the United Women’s Organisation of which she became vice chairperson in 1985, the South African National Civic Organisation and the United Women’s Congress.

At the beginning of the State of Emergency in the 80s, she went into hiding but continued to work underground for the ANC.

ANCWL member Zoe Kota-Fredericks, addressing the crowd via Zoom said, Mama Zihlangu was a not just a humble mother but also a revolutionary fighter.

“She took us under her wing as young people of Gugulethu. A very humble mother and a freedom fighter.

“She was available for us and her organisation. Mama, together with other women, like Mme Mandu Mildred Ramakaba-Lesiea were an inspiration to us as young people, particularly activists of the youth league in the Western Cape. She was very active and brave. She also formed a youth group called Mayibuye.

“Those were young people that were groomed to fight for the emancipation of our people.

“There was a time when she would take guns to supply to young fighters. She was committed to the struggle for liberation,” she said.

Ms Kota-Fredericks said when political organisations were unbanned, she encouraged young people and the women’s league to now look at the bread and butter issues.

“She told us that things were expensive for the poor.

“She said that was a new struggle to fight because poor people cannot afford basic things like bread, paraffin and many other things,” said Ms Kota-Fredericks.

Another member of the ANCWL who was a programme director, Nokulunga James thanked the late struggle veteran for working for young people of the country.

Ms James said Ms Zihlangu and others had worked hard for many to be where they are today and to be able to speak freely in their country.

Family spokesperson and the director of Malibongwe Women Outreach, Nosipho Daniels said the family was happy that their mother’s legacy has been kept alive.

She said her granny had fought hard against the apartheid government and deserves to be remembered.

“The last thing we want is for her to be not remembered. She has made history and has fought too hard for this country for her legacy to disappear in thin air.

“We are grateful that she is celebrated and we hope she will be celebrated by the generations to come too,” she said.

Among the attendees were the current Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mcebisi Skwatsha, ANC provincial leader Xolani Sotashe and councillor Bongani Ngcombolo.