Albertina Sisulu

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ALBERTINA SISULU

Nontsikelelo Albertina Sisulu was born on the 21st of October 1911 to Bonilizwe and Monica Thethiwe in Xolobe, and went to primary school only. She studied at Mariazell and was a trainee nurse at Johannesburg General. She was not interested in politics, but went to meetings to support her husband and eventually joined the ANCYL. On 9th August 1956 Albertina, Helen Joseph and Sophia De Bryn were involved in the women's anti-pass protest, helping the 20,000 demonstrators avoid police stops and protest against the apartheid government's requirement that women carry passbooks as part of the pass laws. For this she was arrested and spent three weeks in jail. Albertina was the first women to be held in prison under the 90-day law. Albertina, through the ANC Women's League, was involved in the boycott of Bantu Education. The Sisulu’s withdrew their children from government school and Albertina opened her home as an 'alternative school'. The Apartheid government found out and stopped this practice. So they sent their children to a private school in Swaziland. Albertina committed herself to The Albertina Sisulu Foundation, which works to improve the lives of children and old people. Her foundation helped build schools for the disabled and those with special needs. She was honoured for her commitment to the anti-apartheid struggle and her social work when the World Peace Council elected her president in 1993. "Mama Sisulu has been a pillar of strength for the entire liberation movement, as she counselled, nursed and educated most of the leaders and founders of the democratic SA” - Jacob Zuma
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