Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 'Mother of the Nation,' Mourned at Southafrica

Katrina Barker
April 14, 2018

Malema's assertions seem to have been confirmed by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also ANC president when he said Madikizela Mandela was alone.

As the curtains fall for a woman who was demonised by both the apartheid regime and the new administration led by her ex-husband, South Africans are outraged at how the Mother of the Nation was betrayed.

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.

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.

Madikizela-Mandela was later jailed in 1969 for months and placed under house arrest for years over her activism against the apartheid regime.

Many memorialising Ms Madikizela-Mandela have recognised her as a political force in her own right.

"Mama Winnie would encourage us to go attend school and not leave the country to join the ANC's military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe, because she used to say she wanted educated leaders", said Mkhabane.

Thousands of mourners have packed a 40,000-seat stadium to bid farewell to the powerful figure who will be buried as a national hero, after lively debate over how she should be remembered.

While their marriage withstood the battle against apartheid, it couldn't withstand the pressure of freedom. Mandela, South Africa's first black president, fired her as one in every of his deputy ministers.

He said they are from a generation that is fortunate to have lived in the time of Madikizela-Mandela. She will still be the voice of the people.

Mandela-Dlamini - who struggled to begin her speech as she was interrupted by bouts of coughing - said popular history had erased Madikizela-Mandela's contributions and other women from the liberation struggle. "In the midst of repression, she was a voice of defiance and resistance".

The 59-year old told mourners that the government and the media had smeared lies against her mother through extreme cruelty that robbed her rightful legacy. She was also always called upon for political advice.

Zezani said her family has been comforted and shielded by the love people have showed them. She was also accused of theft and kidnapping, which she denied.

Some ANC members started attempts to drown out Malema by booing and singing, but he continued and called on Soweto residents to never forget her name.

CNN's Eleni Giokos reported from Soweto, while Faith Karimi wrote from Atlanta, and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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