Parliament Saddened by the Passing of Mrs Zondeni Sobukwe

The Presiding Officers of Parliament, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Thandi Modise have learnt with a profound sense of sadness of the passing on of Mrs Zondeni Sobukwe, the widow of the PAC founder Robert Sobukwe.

Mama Azania, as she was affectionately known, passed on in the early hours of Wednesday morning after a short illness.

Mrs Sobukwe will be remembered for her courage, resilience and fortitude during the fight for liberation when her husband was jailed in Robben Island by the Apartheid government.

Described as humble and warm, Mama Azania endured unspeakable suffering, struggle and pain during that period. However, despite this, she remained unwavering in her resolve and commitment towards the liberation of South Africa.

For her tenacious fight for freedom, her steadfast support of incarcerated freedom fighters and challenging the injustices meted out against the majority of South Africans, President Cyril Ramaphosa bestowed her with the Order Luthuli.

Born Zondeni Veronica Mathe on 27 July 1927 in Hlobane in Natal, she got married to Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe on the 6 June 1954 and, in line with African tradition and matrimonial rites of passage, she received the customary nuptial name of Nosango. Mama Azania had four children: Miliswa, Dinilesizwe, Dalindyebo and Dedanizizwe.

Parliament sends its heartfelt condolences to the Sobukwe family, friends and the PAC.

May her soul rest in eternal peace.

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