South Africa's anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Mandela to be laid to rest

South Africa's anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Mandela to be laid to rest

"Never ever did she waver in her conviction and courage".

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.

Photo: Mourners gather at the Orlando Stadium to pay tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela, aged 81, passed away on 2 April at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. The debates, and complexities of the struggle icon are set to continue.

Soon after, she met Nelson Mandela at a bus stop in Soweto, when she was 22, and they tied the knot in the summer of 1958. She was always striving for equality, and to keep South Africa at the forefront of people's thoughts.

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

For many South Africans, the most memorable image of Madikizela-Mandela is of her punching the air in a clenched-fist salute as she walked hand-in-hand with Mandela out of Victor Verster prison, near Cape Town, on February 11, 1990. "As president, I will propose that we award you the highest order of our movement, you richly deserve to be awarded", Mr Ramaphosa said.

During his fiery address, Malema questioned several aspects of the ANC government. "What must we tell them", Malema asked, saying they were promised a quiet visit.

Like so many of people she had lived with fear, pain, loss and disappointment and yet each day she rose with the nobleness of the human spirit. She was one of the country's greatest icons in the struggle against apartheid.

Many mourners were clad in the green and yellow colors of the ANC. Members of the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party also attended in large numbers. This reached a crescendo as the procession, led by police motorcycles, arrived.

"Just as Mam' Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honour her memory by uniting in common goal".

President Cyril Ramaphosa apologised that it had taken so long for the ANC to honour Madikizela-Mandela.

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Magashule said Mama Winnie has touched the lives of many and he said he is happy that you can find young artists in Soweto to help draw the wall of remembrance. Ramaphossa said South Africa has a painful history which characterizes the current situation in the country with anger.

"It was my mother who kept his (Nelson Mandela's) memory alive", said a teary Zenani.

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

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

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

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 protected both from constant assault from apartheid state".

"Yet, throughout, she endured".

Responding to Malema, the president said, "The wounds you are talking about are real wounds but today is the time to heal those wounds". Ward 29 councillor, Brenda Dummie, said they are grateful that they are the first community to receive the wall of that celebrate the late political stalwart. EFF leaders encouraged their members to act with discipline during the funeral.

As leaders from across the globe paid glowing tribute to Winnie Mandela, the family sought to come clean, accusing the government and the media of being hypocritical in their praises for the fallen hero.

.

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

He added: "She chose as her vocation the alleviation of the suffering of others".

He said he had a conversation with her shortly before her death about her worries and her wishes. "She was one of us". The same people who sold you out?

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