Cheers, cries of 'Winnie!' at funeral for icon

by Antonio Miles April 15, 2018, 0:55
Cheers, cries of 'Winnie!' at funeral for icon

Ramaphosa was speaking at Madikizela-Mandela's funeral at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Madikizela-Mandela's death on April 2 at the age of 81 after a long illness was met by an outpouring of emotion across the country. The debates, and complexities of the struggle icon are set to continue. Because she was always so strong. Even though I didn't know her in person, we love our mother.

Also present at the service were South Africa's former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, as well as foreign dignitaries from Kenya, Namibia and Lesotho.

Winnie who was revered by many mother of the nation attracted criticism from thousands of South Africans in 1986 when she gave a controversial speech endorsing "Necklacing". "As president, I will propose that we award you the highest order of our movement, you richly deserve to be awarded", Mr Ramaphosa said.

She said Madikizela Mandela suffered at the brutality of the Apartheid government and humiliation. Her supporters have continued to correct claims that she was responsible for the 1989 death of Stompie Seipei.

During Mandela's 27-year incarceration for his fight against apartheid, Madikizela-Mandela campaigned for his release and for the rights of black South Africans undergoing detention, banishment and arrest.

"As each of them disavowed these lies, I had to ask myself - why have they sat on the truth had wait until my mother's death to tell it?"

As mourners said a final goodbye to the late civil rights activists a military procession escorted her coffin out of the stadium in the city.

"The pain inflicted on her lives on in us", she said, with her sister Zindzi standing next to her at the podium.

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A controversial figure, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was lauded for her role in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Mourners dressed in the colours of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as well those of the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), sang "there's no-one like Winnie", an adapted popular liberation struggle song.

"You wanted us to come back to the ANC - to which ANC?"

Praising her now that she's gone shows what hypocrites you are.

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. Ramaphossa said South Africa has a painful history which characterizes the current situation in the country with anger.

"Mama, the widows of Marikana are still in tears. It was a life of compassion", said the president. "It was a spear that throughout the darkest moments of our struggle she wielded with great courage". "She protected both from constant assault from apartheid state". Yet, through everything, she endured. Campbell said, "She was a heroine, of a whole continent, a courageous symbol of resistance for all of us". They had two daughters together. However, the tribute from the EFF's commander in chief Julius Malema, drew some of the loudest applause from the crowd.

ANC politicians such as Gwede Mantashe, David Makhura, Bathabile Dlamini and Jeff Radebe also addressed the funeral that included performances by Thandiswa Mazwai, Zonke and Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse. Madikizela-Mandela denied any knowledge of any killings. And it was those in power who, insecure and fearful, visited upon her the most vindictive and callous retribution. The same people who sold you out? 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.

Much of the national conversation around Madikizela-Mandela legacy has been driven by the documentary Winnie.

Madikizela-Mandela was laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery in Johannesburg.


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