Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela laid to rest

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela laid to rest

Often called the "Mother of the Nation" and "Mama Winnie", Madikizela-Mandela fought to keep South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle in the worldwide spotlight while her husband, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned.

He immediately announced that the ANC would consider bestowing on the struggle icon its highest award, Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe, an honour reserved for those who have made an outstanding contribution and sacrifice to the liberation struggle.

"I'm sorry Mama that your organisation (ANC) delayed in according you its honour".

He added: "Let us honour her memory (Madikizela-Mandela) 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. I know that she would be very proud of each of you, and grateful for your acts of personal courage: for joining hands in the #IAmWinnie movement, wearing your doeks and bravely mounting a narrative that counters the one that had become, to our profound dismay, my mother's public story over the last twenty-five years of her life. "We did not do the same for her", Ramaphosa said.

The United Nations staged a special memorial sitting at its NY headquarters on Friday to mark her passing.

As one of the country's most prominent and polarizing figures, she retained political clout long after her divorce from Mandela.

The heavens opened and the rain started falling moments before SANDF officials raised Mama Winnie's coffin, draped in the South African flag, to take her on her final journey.

In 1991, a court found Madikizela-Mandela guilty of the boy's kidnapping and assault and sentenced her to six years in jail. They had two daughters together.

Deputy President David Mabuza described her as a visionary who championed reconciliation. Her reputation was tainted by accusations of human rights violations that seemed sometimes at odds with Mandela's fight for inclusiveness.

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"Long before it was fashionable to call for Nelson Mandela's release from Robben Island, it was my mother who kept his memory alive", Zenani Mandela-Dlamini said as the audience packing a 40,000-seat stadium erupted in cheers.

The family of the late Winnie Mandela has accused the South African government of being hypocritical for praising her after death.

"She is truly the mother of South Africa", Jackson told journalists on Friday.

Mourners sang and cheered as her body was brought into the Orlando stadium where the funeral service was taking place. Madikizela-Mandela denied any knowledge of any killings.

Zezani said her family has been comforted and shielded by the love people have showed them.

For years, she was routinely harassed by apartheid-state security forces, imprisoned and tortured. "It is important to honour her and continue the fight".

Every generation is gifted one or two people who shine as brightly as the brightest stars.

There were loud cheers when the radical Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela. She was a witness to the truths and horrors of our nation, not only because of her own hardships but because of her courage.

Family members, President Cyril Ramaphosa and dignitaries walk beside the casket of the late stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as it is led out of Orlando stadium. She told how she met Madikizela-Mandela 60 years ago at the Baragwanath Hospital, where they both worked.

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