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The warrior woman is gone

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

To the very end a warrior, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, first on the frontlines of South Africa’s long and difficult struggle against apartheid, then in her later years to safeguard her reputation from being tainted by scandal. History will judge whether she was successful in the latter struggle.

However, there is no disputing the important role she played in the three-decade struggle to end her homeland’s repressive, racist system of governance.

Her marriage to Nelson Mandela, which ended in divorce after 38 years, lasted through the most difficult decades of the anti-apartheid fight, including his long imprisonment.

It is often forgotten that for Mrs Mandela, being married to the man who became the international symbol of resistance to apartheid, meant not only raising their family mostly on her own but also being jailed.

Therefore, it is not merely for being Nelson Mandela’s wife that she became known in South Africa as Mother of the Nation. Winnie Mandela fought courageously, spoke out defiantly and paid a heavy price in her personal life.

To judge her solely on the basis of the scandals that clouded her later years would be to overlook this woman warrior’s invaluable contribution to the struggle for freedom.

Funding policy must be made known

Even in times of plenty, state funding of cultural and religious events is a divisive, controversial issue. However, these lean times have added another complication to an already sensitive matter.

Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha secretary general Sat Maharaj has spoken out quite often about little or no funding from Government for major Hindu festivals. Now Spiritual Baptist leader Barbara Burke is also weighing in on the funding matter.

To a certain degree, some cultural events also generate the same type of complaints—Emancipation and Indian Arrival Day are the two events when funding expectations are seldom, if ever, met.=

Missing in all this is a clearly enunciated policy on funding of cultural and religious events. A policy might exist but it isn’t well known and the vacuum created results in speculation, complaints and even allegations of political discrimination.

A policy that is properly communicated will help manage expectations, encourage better long-term planning and yield more successful outcomes.

Our Carifta Games winners

Well done to all the young athletes who did us proud at the recent Carifta Games. The red, white and black was well represented at the event and this country’s future in track and field looks promising.


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