On this day in history, a female titan was born. Briefly.co.za pays tribute to the late Isabella Winkie Direko.
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27 November 1929 saw the birth of Isabella Winkie Direko in Botshabelo, just outside of Bloemfontein.
Although Winkie was merely a nickname, she adopted it as her official name as she grew older.
Direko completed a teaching qualification and soon took up a teaching post in Bloemfontein.
She progressed through the ranks and subsequently was promoted to head principal at Sehunelo High School.
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Direko's first foray into politics occurred when she formed part of a delegation that attempted to persuade the Minister of Education at the time, Dr F Hartzenberg, to permit black students to attend the University of the Orange Free State.
Briefly.co.za noted that Direko was named the Bloemfonteiner of the Year in 1993.
Naturally, she'll be fondly remembered as the Premier of the Free State, after her appointment in 1999.
She was already 70 years of age at the time.
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Among her many achievements, Direko served as President of the National Council of African Women and was a council member of NICRO.
Direko's role in education within the province was recognised when the University of the Free State named a building in her honour.
The political powerhouse eventually passed on after suffering a stroke on 17 February 2012.
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