The ANCWL is deeply saddened by the death of our beloved comrade, Sister Bernard Ncube who dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom and furthermore to the emancipation of women. She was a strong gender activist with a passion for women’s rights issues. Ncube made a valuable contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle, she played an integral role by organising women in the 1970’s and 80’s, in the then Transvaal. She also assisted in establishing the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDTRAW) and later became that organisations president.
Sister Bernard Ncube was a religious women, a true sister of the cloth... A teacher by profession, she had studied theology and was part of the Champions of the Catholic order and was referred to as an “unorthodox” nun, due to her practical, no-nonsense views on public policy. She was truly loved by all who knew her. Sister Ncube saw the work she did for the people of South Africa as the work of God, believing always that people should be free in their own country. However, so cruel was the apartheid system, that they even jailed a nun. Sister Ncube spent time incarcerated and even had to endure solitary confinement after being charged for sedition and subversion.
After democracy Ncube continued her selfless work for the people our country where she served on many Government structures including being a member of parliament. She continued to champion women’s rights in her position as Chairperson of the Art and Culture portfolio committee in parliament.
Sister Ncube made a valuable contribution to South Africa and for that we cannot thank her enough. Her life will be honoured and remembered by the ANCWL as we close women’s month celebrations, she will go down in history as one of the great women of the ANC.
The ANCWL send our deepest condolences to the Ncube family during this difficult time, but we hope they find comfort in the fact that Sister Bernard Ncube’s life will forever be an inspiration to future generations of women leaders and activists.