Albertina Sisulu

Albertina Sisulu one of the political icons of the Apartheid era, that sacrificed her life and fought against the evil-Apartheid along side with her husband, Albert Sisulu, has died at the age of 92 on Thursday 2/06/201.                 

The death of struggle veteran Albertina Sisulu has left the ANC in shock, disbelief, and devastated at the loss of a mother, says ruling party spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

Albertina Sisulu was the widow of Walter Sisulu, the first secretary-general of the ANC, a Robben Island prisoner and a friend of Nelson Mandela. Her extraordinary personal sacrifices were to let ordinary African lead a dignified life, free of the daily discriminations and humiliations that constituted the Apartheid system.

She endured a lot so that each person regardless of race or creed  of gender, could enjoy the full range of pleasures and sorrows, challenges and accomplishments that define the daily essence of an ordinary person. Born in 1918, in the village of Camama in the Transkei region of South Africa, Albertina chose to study nursing. She married Albert Sisulu in 1947.

Albertina was the only woman present at the birth of the African National Congress Youth League. She became more of an activist, leading the ANC women's League in the famous 1952 Defiance Campaign and boycotts, protests, and sit-ins of the 1950s. In the 60s, she endured the several banning orders by the Apartheid government.

Her husband was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, one of the notorious prisons in South Africa, forcing her to raise a family on her own. Like Winnie Mandela, Adelaide Thambo, wife of Oliver Thambo and Ma Mbeki, she bore the burden with quiet and defiant dignity.

How much could a woman take in those dark, anguish days? At one time Albertina had three of her children in jail with her husband over anti-Apartheid struggle. Yet not once did her suffering diminish her attentiveness to travails of others. Albertina Sisulu belongs to a breed of dying giants, the giants who liberated Africa of all its inhabitants.

She belongs to the giants that had fought to see the fall of Apartheid. Her selfless sacrifice can never be erased from the political history of South Africa. May her soul rest in perfect peace.