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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has described the death of ex-wife of the late former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, as a great loss to Africa, and not just to her immediate family.


This was contained in a condolence letter Obasanjo wrote to the South African President, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, released in Abeokuta on Thursday by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent.

Obasanjo also described her as one of the greatest women to have walked the African soil.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid campaigner, died at 81 on April 2.

The letter dated April 3, 2018, reads in part: “It is with profound sense of sympathy that I write, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, to commiserate with you and the entire good people of South Africa over the painful transition of Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

“She was a front-line women leader, an activist, an indomitable fighter for the liberation of South Africa from apartheid and oppressive racialism, a stateswoman per excellence, a tireless advocate of the preservation of the mystique of Africa’s moral and cultural values, who had selflessly dedicated herself to public service for most of her life.

“Winnie was, without doubt, one of the greatest women to have walked the African earth.

”The death of a leader of Mrs. Winnie Mandela’s stature is a big loss, not only to her immediate family and country but to the whole of Africa.

“History will record her vital contributions to the realisation of the dream of regional unity in Southern Africa, which would not have been possible without South Africa being free.

“By so doing, she has left a legacy of development and vision of unity which made the world a better place than she met it.”

Obasanjo was also said to have written a separate letter of condolence to the daughter of the deceased, Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini.

In another development, Obasanjo also wrote a condolence letter to the president of African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, over the death of his father, late Chief Roland Adesina.

The former president stated that he sympathised with him “on the loss of the head of the family and want you to know that we all are also bereaved and we feel the pain of the transition of your beloved father.”



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