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COSATU Today  |  COSATU Press Statements

COSATU Free State Statement on death of Mme Winkie Direko, former Free State Premier

20 February 2012

COSATU has learnt with shock the sudden death of our mother Mme Winkie Direko who was the former premier of the Free State and MPL. Mme Winkie was a well known and respected person by all the people of the Free State; she was very humble and dedicated premier whom the ANC deployed in the province.

Mme Winkie will be remembered by many including amongst the working people with her passion and love of the province as she was at all times striving for the better life for the people. During her days as the premier she was not lazy to go and visit the poorest of the poor, listen to their challenges and problems that they were having.

Whilst it is understood that although Mme Winkie was not active in politics of late because of her age, she was ever available when needed by the movement. She is counted as one of those leaders of the province who never turned their back against the ANC during the difficult times when many decided to leave the movement. What a good legacy left by this heroine of our province. All that she demonstrated whilst she was a leader was: “Don’t show the people the way to go, whilst you turn back and take the opposite direction.

Mistress Winkie! As she was known will be remembered by many workers and young people for her encouraging words like “Girls must never allow themselves to be used as mattresses”. This was her message to young people during the campaign against women and children abuse, emphasising the need for girls and women not to be abused.

No one in the province can question her commitment when coming to campaigning for the movement including electioneering. Mme Winkie as a mother would not mind to accept deployment to even far distances to campaign for this movement that she loved so dearly. She would at all time remind those deployed to work hard for the movement and be selfless

COSATU in the province joins millions of the people of the province and the country in passing our condolences to her family and the ANC that she was a member of till her death.

May her soul rest in peace!

Statement made by Sam Mashinini, COSATU Free State Provincial Secretary : 0825636954