South Africa's Winnie Mandela to be laid to rest in Soweto funeral

Apr 15, 2018, 00:33
South Africa's Winnie Mandela to be laid to rest in Soweto funeral

The deceased who was fondly called Mama Winnie also fought to keep South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle in the worldwide spotlight while her late husband, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. However, before that he greeted everyone, including the structures of the ANC, and declared: "President Cyril Ramaphosa was Mama Winnie's president. Just as Mam' (mother) Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honor her memory by uniting in common goal", said Ramaphosa. She warned the "hypocrites" who hid the truth and marginalised her mother. Those who notice such things would have realized that her 2013 book, 491 Days-which tells the story of the brutality she experienced at the hands of the Apartheid state, the depths of her despair and her extraordinary resilience and defiance under extreme pressure-was already an invitation for a deep re-evaluation of her life.

Speaking during a memorial at Brandfort where Winnie was banished by the apartheid forces, Patricia de Lille spoke about the woman she knew in close quarters.

"Today, we lay to rest our heroine, a struggle stalwart and mother-to-the-nation", the government tweeted Saturday.

Mourners wore black, green and gold - colors of the ruling African National Congress political party.

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

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Deputy President David Mabuza described her as a visionary who championed reconciliation.

They were married for a total of 38 years but for nearly three decades of that time, they were separated by Mr Mandela's long imprisonment. And after Nelson Mandela was banished to Robben Island, she continued to live there most of her life, continuing with the historic mission of liberation.

When Mandela left prison in 1990, she stood next to him, one hand clasped in his as they raised their free hands clenched in fists - a moment memorialized in a photo that became a symbol of his freedom.

"The battle for our freedom wasn't some polite picnic to which you came armed with your best behaviour".

Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his wife Ida flew to South Africa on Friday to attend Winnie's funeral. "That statement and those tears have stayed with me since that day", Ramaphosa said. She was always striving for equality, and to keep South Africa at the forefront of people's thoughts.

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As evidence emerged in the dying years of apartheid of the brutality of her Soweto enforcers, known as the "Mandela United Football Club", some South Africans questioned her "Mother of the Nation" soubriquet.

Her body will be buried at a privately run graveyard in Johannesburg's upmarket Fourways suburb where two of her great-grand children are also buried.

Campbell spoke of how she first met Madikizela-Mandela in 1990‚ when she accompanied Nelson Mandela on his first visit to NY. Her reputation was tainted by accusations of human rights violations that seemed sometimes at odds with Mandela's fight for inclusiveness.

In 2003, she was on the opposite side of love, when she was convicted of fraud and theft over a bank loan scam.

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