South Africa's Winnie Mandela laid to rest

15 April, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • South Africa's Winnie Mandela laid to rest

She also questioned why men in the struggle weren't subjected to the same scrutiny, and said, "double standards obscure the vast efforts of women" in the struggle.

Mourners filled the 37,500-seater Orlando Stadium in the township of Soweto where Winnie lived and erupted into loud cheers as the casket carrying her remains was wheeled in.

South Africa lays to rest anti-apartheid icon and Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie Mandela with full state honours at a stadium funeral in Soweto on Saturday. The debates, and complexities of the struggle icon are set to continue.

Despite it being a funeral, most of the crowd was jubilant, celebrating Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's life with cheers, song, dance and salute. Because she was always so strong.

"She is truly the mother of South Africa", Jackson told journalists on Friday. "As president, I will propose that we award you the highest order of our movement, you richly deserve to be awarded", Mr Ramaphosa said.

Before her death, Winnie held several government jobs.

She said the media was "complicit in smearing my mother".

"She represents a fighting spirit because even though she lived through the apartheid era, she never gave up", 20-year old college student, Gift Mokale said.

Ever since we announced that my mother had departed this world, we've been comforted and strengthened in our hour of grief and weakness by your love, your messages, your visitations, and above all your testimonies of what my mother meant to each of you.

"Mama, some of those who sold you out to the regime are here".

"Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will dedicate all our resources, all our efforts, all our energy to the empowerment of the poor and vulnerable". I say "fight" because the battle for our freedom was not some polite picnic at which you arrived armed with your best behaviour. Ramaphossa said South Africa has a painful history which characterizes the current situation in the country with anger.

Madikizela Mandela's daughter Zenani, broke down on the podium while paying her last respects to her mother. "Zenani's tears revealed Mama Winnie's wounds".


"She felt compelled to organise, to mobilise, to lead when those who led our people had been sent across the bay to the (Robben) Island, while others were forced to flee beyond our borders or were martyred by a state that knew no mercy. It was a life of compassion", said the president.

Winnie Mandela, who died in Johannesburg aged 81 on April 2 after a long illness, has been celebrated for helping keep Nelson Mandela's dream of a non-racial South Africa alive while he was behind bars for 27 years. She was the eyes and ears of the world during those dark days.

The President described her as an African woman who - in her attitude, words and actions - defied the very premise of apartheid ideology and male superiority. "She exposed the lie of apartheid". Yet, through everything, she endured. Madikizela-Mandela had wanted him to visit Marikana, the site of the 2012 massacre, with Malema and Ramaphosa said he would go with the young firebrand "to heal the wounds".

In 1991, she was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault, but her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence on appeal. EFF leaders encouraged their members to act with discipline during the funeral.

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political career after the first free elections in 1994.

He said Madikizela Mandela provided leadership at the most hard time and never demanded a reward.

"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".

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

She was sacked after allegations of corruption emerged with her name featuring prominently. More importantly, the film reveals just how ugly the physical and psychological war of apartheid was and what it took from those who stood against it.

The casket, draped in a South African flag, was taken to the private cemetery in a motorcade escorted by members of the military.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Gauteng premier David Mahura said in his welcoming to the service that the "truth will triumphantly march forward to tell us who" Madikizela-Mandela was.

The funeral procession leaves the Orlando Stadium. When we could not be with her, she wrote letters to us.

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