[GALLERY] Dignitaries and South Africans bid Mam' Winnie a final farewell

15 April, 2018, 01:00 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • South Africa's Winnie Mandela to be laid to rest in Soweto funeral

Winnie who was referred to as the anti-apartheid icon was honored at Orlando stadium in Soweto, South Africa. The debates, and complexities of the struggle icon are set to continue.

"It is hard to accept that she is no longer with us", cried her daughter Zenani Dlamini, "because she was always so strong". She was reported dead after in a hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness.

His refusal to acknowledge former president Jacob Zuma was clearly notable.

"In apartheid South Africa, the combination of patriarchy and racism together meant that black women confronted enormous obstacles from the cradle to the grave - making her own achievements all the more exceptional", he said at a memorial in NY on Friday, not mentioning Nelson Mandela at all. "Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will not betray the trust of her people, we will not squander or steal their resources, and that we will serve them diligently and selflessly", Ramaphosa said.

Even though she struggled for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered at a political vocation after the first absolutely free elections in 1994.

Dlamini-Mandela accused the media of being complicit in a long "smear campaign" against her mother.

ANC supporters made up most of the crowd at the packed Orlando Stadium, but a significant number of EFF supporters attended the funeral.

On his part, Geingob said he had come to mourn and celebrate the life of Madikizela-Mandela, who remained rooted in her people.

"Mama Winnie and her spirit must be with us all the time".

South Africans trooped out in their thousands to pay last respect to Winnie Mandela, wife of former President Nelson Mandela as she is laid to rest on Saturday.

He conceded that the ANC hasn't been there for her during the tumultuous times.

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"As we bid her farewell we are forced to admit that as Mama Winnie rose, she rose alone. She guides our nation", said Ramaphosa. Recalling a recent conversation with her daughter Zenani Dlamini, he said she cried when she said her mother had lived a hard life.

"Mama, the widows of Marikana are still in tears".

He said she personified the true meaning of speaking truth to power and she was the authentic voice of the people's war against apartheid. Hers was a life of compassion. "Only they know why they chose to share the truth with the world after she departed", Mrs Mandela-Dlamini said. It was a spear that, throughout the darkest moments of our struggle, she wielded with great courage, unequivocal commitment and incredible skill.

Ramaphosa, who had been promised to be taken to Marikana by Madikizela-Mandela to formally apologise to the widows of the 34 miners who were killed, said that although she passed on before it could happen, he would honour her wishes. "She exposed the lie of apartheid".

"Yet, throughout, she endured".

Madikizela-Mandela was later jailed in 1969 for months and placed under house arrest for years over her activism against the apartheid regime. EFF leaders encouraged their members to act with discipline during the funeral.

There were loud cheers when the radical Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela. Madikizela-Mandela denied knowledge of nearly any killings.

"Your daughter got married to be on her own but she managed to overcome all the pain and suffering to a point where your name is a legendary status". She said the spear has fallen and promised to pick it up as women. "She was one of us. The same one who sold you out", asked Malema. "She was just a woman who dared to survive".

Malema, who sat with Madikizela-Mandela's family and other dignitaries, responded to Ramaphosa with a smile.

The official funeral service for the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela took place in Soweto - a Johannesburg township at the forefront of the battle against apartheid where she lived. South Africans stood by the road side as the funeral procession proceeded to the stadium.

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