Monday, 21 May, 2018

Boniface Mwangi: It was Winnie who made Mandela a man

South Africa: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Has Left Her Soweto Home for the Last Time All set for Winnie burial
Sammy Stanley | 14 April, 2018, 21:01

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

Mourners followed the coffin in procession into the stadium, where the funeral began with the singing of the national anthem.

Thunder rumbled and it started to rain because the casket left the 40,000-seat stadium - a blessing, witnesses mentioned.

Entire stands were packed with red-shirted activists of the populist leftwing opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, which sees itself as continuing of Madikizela-Mandela's efforts to bring about a radical economic transformation in South Africa. She passed away last week at the age of 81 years and, in her death, the worldwide press and enemies of black consciousness went after her.

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was a social worker when she met her future husband, then a prominent anti-apartheid campaigner, in the 1950s.

"I'm very grateful to be here today".

President Cyril Ramaphosa, dignitaries from around the continent and many of South Africa's most famous political and cultural figures joined rank and file members of the ruling African National Congress and well-wishers from around the country.

Debate has raged over Madikizela-Mandela's legacy since the 81-year-old passed away on 2 April in Johannesburg.

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Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who attended the funeral, said Friday that Madikizela-Mandela was responsible for making the anti-apartheid movement "a global struggle".

Her daughter, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, was among the speakers at the funeral.

In the decades-long fight against apartheid, Mr. Guterres said that the United Nations stood with Ms. Madikizela-Mandela and South Africa, as they faced unrelenting racism and discrimination.

Affectionately known as Mother of the nation, Mama Winnie Mandela played a pivotal role in the fight against the apartheid regime.

Some held aloft placards bearing the face of Madikizela-Mandela. "Yet, she continued to demand an end to injustice".

She faced death threats, house arrest, torture, internal exile, banishment, isolation and government slander. Sisters and brothers, Winnie Mandela was and will forever remain a force multiplier. So that when she was banished to Brandfort, she immersed herself in the affairs of this little community and improved the lives of the people, who, in turn, received her with so much love. Mandela had the heart to forgive his tormentors but, in an ironic twist, refused to forgive Winnie, the person who made him a legend.

Malema called on the government to honour Madikizela-Mandela by naming the Cape Town airport after her.

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