PAC founder Robert Sobukwe's widow, Zondeni Sobukwe, at his grave site in August 2014. Picture: THE HERALD/ EUGENE COETZEE
PAC founder Robert Sobukwe's widow, Zondeni Sobukwe, at his grave site in August 2014. Picture: THE HERALD/ EUGENE COETZEE

Pan Africanist Congress founder Robert Sobukwe’s widow‚ Zondeni‚ died in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a long illness.

She turned 91 in July.

PAC president Narius Moloto said Zondeni had been admitted to hospital six weeks ago.

She lived a quiet life in Graaff Reinet in the Eastern Cape. They were married from 1950 to 1978.

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 met at the University of Fort Hare.

Struggle stalwart Zondeni Sobukwe has died on August 15 2018. Tributes have poured in for Zondeni, who was married to Pan Africanist Congress founder Robert Sobukwe.

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‚ unrecognised 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.

Moloto said: "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 she 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.