President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday said he was mourning Agnes Msimang‚ whom he described as a heroine of the South African anti-apartheid struggle and a surrogate mother to many activists.
“Ma Aggie” died at a Johannesburg hospital on Thursday‚ the presidency said in a statement. She was 89.
Ramaphosa said Msimang was “a true servant of the people”‚ a committed and loyal member of the ANC‚ and a surrogate mother to many activists‚ both inside the country and in exile‚ during apartheid.
He said the former deputy president of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) was a committed gender activist and among countless women who mobilised their communities against the apartheid system.
Following the demise of apartheid‚ she joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs and served as deputy chief representative to India. “During her term she started the Africa Club‚ which helped South African youth learn their culture. She also trained Indian school children about South Africa’s struggle for liberation‚ including the singing of the national anthem‚ Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika.”