Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Winnie) is currently in hospital receiving medical attention for back problems. Winnie’s stay in hospital is said to be a follow up to a previous surgical procedure she underwent in March this year.
As a revolutionary movement of the Black Consciousness and Pan Afrikanist tradition, whenever we are confronted with responding to anything “Winnie” we are reminded of the many unanswered big questions surrounding the link between Winnie, the Mandela United Football Club and the death of Black Consciousness leader Dr Abu Baker Asvat on 27 January 1989. We are also not satisfied that in 1998 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) had done all that was necessary to arrive at the truth in this respect.
Having said that we are, at this point, nonetheless reminded of what happened on October 20, 2004 when Fidel Castro injured himself after delivering a speech. It is said that on the next day the United States government “publicly refused the common courtesy” of wishing him a speedy recovery.
The Cuban State Department (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) subsequently responded by reminding the US of its message of condolence regarding the death of President Ronald Reagan in June 2004 when it declared inter alia as follows:
“President Ronald Reagan was a tenacious opponent of the Cuban Revolution, but Cuban revolutionaries possess a sense of ethics and honor that is incompatible with the idea of issuing critical judgements or attacks at what is a moment of profound sorrow for his family. That has been and will always be the conduct of the Cuban people and leadership.”
As BLF we agree with the attitude of the Cuban Government that irrespective of political differences common courtesy dictates that in moments of sorrow and illness it is revolutionary to wish the sick a speedy recovery and to comfort family members. We also acknowlege that Winnie’s contribution to the liberation struggle is invaluable and her revolutionary legacy in this regard will continue to inspire us going forward.
We wish Winnie a speedy recovery and strenght and comfort to her family
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT
16 April 2016
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