Former president Thabo Mbeki has penned a letter of tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. It is published here in full: Once again we the people of South Africa are compelled by our own deep sense of gratitude and appreciation, our very own human values, to lower our revolutionary banners in respect and in honour of a fallen icon of the revolutionary struggle of the people of South Africa, Comrade Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela. In the words of the English poet, Thomas Gray, “full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air”. And so the architects of racial oppression so foolishly believed that the strong and captivating fragrance of freedom and justice that burned in Winnie Madikizela-Mandela would “blush unseen and waste its sweetness” in the “desert air” of banishment in Brandfort. This was nothing more than the wishful thinking of a regime intoxicated by the fading illusion and the mirage of permanence created by the sophistication of its ...

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