ANC STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF DR FRENE GINWALA, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GENDER ACTIVIST, JOURNALIST AND SPEAKER OF THE FIRST DEMOCRATIC PARLIAMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA
The ANC dips its revolutionary banner as it mourns the passing of a great leader and architect of our democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa. The National Executive Committee of the ANC extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, loved ones and comrades of Dr Frene Ginwala.
Dr Frene Noshir Ginwala, was a member of the African National Congress since the 1950s, serving on it’s National Executive Committee, heading its Research department and later its Archives Committee.
Cde Frene served the people in many capacities, in the ANC underground in the 1950s, working with the Indian Congresses, and as a student arranging for the escape of cde President OR Tambo into exile. She followed into exile shortly thereafter, and served in many capacities, including as Managing Editor of Tanzanian main English language daily and Sunday papers – The Standard and Sunday News in 1969.
Her commitment to the emancipation, as an activist and intellectual was unparalleled, with her iconic article on Women in the ANC, 1912-1943 published in 1990, which dispel myths about women’s role in the struggle. She was a founder and National Convenor of the Women’s National Coalition, which mobilised women across political lines and sectors to participate in the countries negotiations in the early 1990s, drafting the second Women’s Charter and successfully saw the inclusion of the non-sexism and equality clause of the country’s Constitution. Between 1990 and 1992, she also served in the ANC Commission on Gender Equality and was part of the National Task force to relaunch the ANC Women’s League.
As an ANC Member of Parliament, she became the first Speaker of a non-racial Parliament, and laid the foundations not only for the legislative arm of government, but for the human rights, constitutional and democratic ethos of our country.
Cde Frene Ginwala passed on at the age of 90 years, and will be remembered as a revolutionary activist, who
throughout her life fought for freedom, justice and equality.
Hamba Kahle Cde Speaker Dr Frene Ginwala.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS SECRETARY GENERAL FIKILE MBALULA ON BEHALF OF
THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE