Biography of Albertina Sisulu. Prominent leader in the African National Congress and ‘Mother of the Nation’. Mama Albertina Nontsikelelo Sisulu was a political activist, nurse and born on 21 October into the Thethiwe family in a village called Xolobe in the. Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu (born ) was one of the most important women leaders of the anti-apartheid resistance in South Africa. She was a leader of the.

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For the next seven years their life became increasingly strained, along with the political situation. Born Nontsikelelo Thethiwe in the Tsomo district of the Transkei on 21 Octobershe was the second of five children of Bonilizwe and Monikazi Thethiwe. Presented as archival content.

Albertina Sisulu

Unlike most articles on Britannica. A week later she was released. From till his murder inSisulu worked for prominent Soweto doctor, Abu Baker Asvat who allowed her to continue with her political activities while employed by him, and she was present when he was murdered.

Banning orders meant she could not go to meetings or leave the district. The University of Johannesburg confers an honorary doctoral degree Doctor Litterarum et Philosophiae honoris causa on Albertina Sisulu in acknowledgement of her revolutionary role in pre South Africa.

Later, inwhen the Truth and Reconciliation Commission investigated claims that Winnie Mandela had ordered his killing, Albertina was called to testify but gave no incriminating evidence.

Albertina, who has died aged 92, was quiet and unassuming, but her strength and resilience over a lifetime of persecution and hardship were extraordinary. Sisulu regarded her relationship as being that of a “mother and a son”, and the two never allowed the rivalry between the UDF, and Azapoof which Asvat was the Health Secretary, and a founding member, to interfere with their friendship or working relationship.


International opinion had swung against apartheid. At the bottom of the article, feel free to list any sources that support your changes, so that we can fully understand their context. Sisulu did not display an interest in politics at first, only attending political meetings with Walter in a supporting capacity, but she eventually got involved in politics when she joined the African National Congress ANC Women’s League inand took part in the launch of the Freedom Charter the same year.

She was best known, of course, as the wife of Walter Sisulu, but was a fearless, and peerless, leader and activist in her own right. You have got to carry a big suitcase full of bottles and for your lotions that you are going to use, and bowls and receivers, and we used to carry those suitcases on our heads,” she said.

Inshe was called before the Truth and Reconciliation Commissionestablished to help South Africans confront and forgive their brutal history.

The United Nations “strongly denounced” her imprisonment. One of the reasons given for her first banning order, inwas that she had attended “a multiracial reception at the British consulate”. She was banned for a total of 18 years, more than any other person during the struggle, and under partial house arrest for some of that time.

However, Father Huss advised Sisulu against this, as nuns did not earn a salary nor did they leave the mission post, so she would not have been able to support her family in the way she wanted to. In Walter was arrested with others and charged with treason. She wanted to become a nun, but that would have made it difficult to support her family, so she opted for nursing. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Albertina Sisulu.


She met Sisulu in while she was training as a nurse in Johannesburg; they were married in She was harassed around the clock by the security police and served with one banning order after another. Albertina was intermittently horrified by Winnie’s behaviour but, mindful of the state’s desire to set the two women against alberyina other, and the closeness of their husbands, refused to be drawn into public criticism of her.

Father Huss arranged for a four-year high school scholarship for Sisulu at Mariazell College. Inshe was elected to albedtina first democratic Parliament, which she served until retiring four years later.

Albertina Sisulu obituary | World news | The Guardian

That October, Walter was released. Walter was arrested during a police raid at the ANC hide-out at Liliesleaf farm while she was inside. Three weeks later her interrogators showed her the headlines.

Abandoning her ambition to train as a teacher, she left the Transkei to train as a nurse at Johannesburg’s Non-European Hospital inas nurses were paid during training. Max was forced into exile aged The one was Walter’s sister, the other soon became Mandela’s first wife. Throughout the long nightmare that enveloped her during the struggle years, she behaved with unflinching dignity, integrity, grace, courage and compassion.

There were massive protests. In July her banning order was renewed for another five years and in addition she was placed under partial house arrest. You may find albrtina helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered.