Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma has extended his deepest condolences to the family, friends and comrades of renowned veteran freedom fighter, Sister Bernard Ncube, who passed away on Friday.
Born in Johannesburg in 1932, the former ANC Member of Parliament and former mayor of the West Rand Metropolitan Council, Sister Ncube was an unconventional Roman Catholic Church nun, who dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom, equality, justice, human rights and democracy.
Paying tribute to Sister Ncube, Zuma said she had distinguished herself in the struggle for women and children’s rights in a remarkable manner, culminating in her presidency of the Federation of Transvaal Women.
“South Africa has lost a compassionate human being who was fearless and never relented in her convictions, her legacy of courage and strong belief in human rights and freedom must inspire all of us to follow in her footsteps and make South Africa the beacon of freedom, democracy, hope and prosperity that she wanted it to be,” said the President.
Sister Ncube suffered dearly for her convictions, being detained six times under emergency regulations, including once when she spent three months in solitary confinement in 1986.
When her cause came to international attention, she was freed but was rearrested with a number of other people, charged with sedition and subversion.
Sisulu calls for enforcement of legislation protecting women
Pretoria: Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu says that while the Legislature has done a lot in terms of passing laws that protect women, until the laws they had enacted were enforced, they would remain ink and paper.
Speaking on Friday during her department’s Women’s Day celebration in Johannesburg, Sisulu called on law enforcement agencies, civil society, women professional groups and other progressive organisations to come to the party.
She said the department had the responsibility of not only ensuring that government followed up on its commitment to establish gender focal points in every department to promote gender equality, but it also had a constitutional mandate to ensure that the public service was diversified at all its levels and categories.
“The Employment Equity Act and Skills Development Act are the vehicles to be utilised to ensure that there is true empowerment of women through skills development and affirmative placement into positions of authority,” said the minister.
“We must intensify our efforts in driving gender mainstreaming and also incorporate the “take the girl child to work” programme for experiential exposure and training, our initiatives must be practical. We should also encourage women to fight against prejudice and deep-rooted sexism in society that is meant to block their voice from echoing in the upper echelons of government and big business.”