- On this day in history, Winnie Mandela was released from house arrest
- She also had the banning order against her lifted
- The lift did not last long though as she was banished to isolation a few months later
On this day in 1975, Winnie Mandela was released from a banning order and house arrest. This banning order was not reimposed for a brief period of time.
At the time of her release she was on the last national executive committee of the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL), along with other legends of the women's struggle like Lilian Ngoyi, Florence Matomela and Frances Baard.
After it was banned, along with the African National Congress (ANC), these women leaders tried to continue their work through the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW). However, Madikizela-Mandela used her freedom from house arrest to attend meetings with Black Consciousness (BC) leaders. The purpose of these meetings was to identify with their cause by attending their trials and to make fiery speeches.
She warned that black people were impatient and resentful and openly asked parents to join the newly formed Black Parents' Association, a platform that presented itself to launch her as a reputable leader of the people at the time.
The lifting of the house arrest was short-lived because in 1977 to 1985, Winnie was banished to the town of Brandfort in the Orange Free State and confined to the area, except for when she was allowed to visit her husband at Robben Island. It was at this time that Winnie Mandela became well known in the Western world. She organised a crèche with an NGO, Operation Hunger and a clinic in Brandfort with Dr Abu Baker Asvat, her personal physician. She also campaigned actively for equal rights and was promoted by the ANC as a symbol of their struggle against apartheid. While in exile in Brandfort, she, and those who attempted to assist her were harassed by the apartheid police.
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