Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, affectionately referred to as Mam’ Winnie or simply Mama, was an exemplary leader who epitomised the use of power and privilege in the pursuit of justice. Tortured, banned, banished and isolated, Mam’ Winnie remained resolute in the pursuit of social justice, transcending the notion of justice as "just us". If anything, she lost favour with some of her colleagues because she was not prepared to look the other way as others were left behind, while state resources were being plundered by some at the centre of power. She refused to give a ride to the proverbial scorpion — and paid the price. She truly was "a flower that bloomed in adversity, a baobab tree that refused to bow down to the wind". When I heard the news of the passing of Mam’ Winnie, I was on a koppie at a nature reserve, marvelling at a splendid sunset while joyfully snapping pictures. Though death is something that awaits all of us, nothing prepared me for the news. Just the other day, we h...

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