The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape is overcome with a deep sense of sadness on the passing on of the ANC stalwart, Mama Ivy Cikizwa Gcina after a long illness.

Mama Gcina passed away early this morning, 27th May 2021 , at the age of 84 years after a fulfilling life as a people’s servant coupled with her unwavering commitment and leadership to the liberation of our people.

Ivy Gcina was orphaned at a very young age and got her primary education through a church school. She joined the ANC Youth League in the 1950’s, active in bus boycotts and protests against Bantu Education. Her own children were born when the organisations were banned and to ensure their political consciousness, she got her uncle to write out the Freedom Charter from memory – it was entirely prohibited to be printed in those days.

After the 1976 student uprising, she committed herself to the to the revival of Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) . When Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (PEBCO) was established, she headed the Women’s Committee and in 1983 was elected first Chairperson of the Port Elizabeth Women’s Organization (PEWO). Among activists, Ivy Gcina was notable for courage and her steadfastness in adversity. Not only was she frequently detained and assaulted, but her house was petrol bombed and even at one point sprayed with acid. Mamu Gcina was severely tortured through beatings and suffocation by named members of the Security Police in Port Elizabeth during the state of emergency in July 1985. She was again detained from June 1986 to June 1987. She lost three of her sons in the struggle, two in combat and the other one in exile. In fact four (4)of his sons were combatants of Umkhonto WeSizwe.

In her leadership role she gave guidance to young activists and leaders of progressive organizations including PEYCO, PESCO, COSAS , SAYCO, PEBCO and PEWO. She did not only give political guidance but she was also a mother figure to all activists. It was a combination of these two qualities, political and parental roles that made it possible for her to be a leader of the United Democratic Front (UDF).

After she was elected to the National Assembly as an ANC MP in 1994, an American visitor asked her how she had managed to persevere. Her reply is worthy of record “It is because, firstly from childhood, we knew the Constitution of the ANC. This country belongs to everyone. That was great and we grew up in that spirit. On my mind, all along, I have got that. The Freedom Charter is for everybody. We will win, So, if I was afraid, I would never do what I want. I will not achieve anything. If I die, my blood will water the tree of freedom for every one”.She was once again elected ANC MP in 1999 and served in various Portfolio Committees in the National Assembly until her retirement in 2004.

While the family has lost a mother, a grand-mother and a great grand-mother, the ANC and the country have lost an irreplaceable leader, a role model and a constant reminder of dedication and selflessness. She embodied grace and humility.

We wish to extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Gcina family and the people of Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape for the loss of a caring mother, grandmother and an epitome of moral values, human dignity, respect and revolutionary discipline.

In this difficult time, we must all find comfort in knowing that her sacrifice and kind deeds have contributed immensely in the creation of a better life for all our people.

May her soul rest in peace! Hamba kahle Sukwini, Lawu, Dibashe.


Enquiries :

Cde Loyiso Magqashela

ANC PEC Provincial Spokesperson

Mobile No :?0762479845/?0823059611

Cde Gift Ngqondi

Provincial Head of Communications

Mobile No :?0849519924 /?0848439706

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