Tears As South Africa Bids Farewell To Winnie Mandela

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Bambatha, the son of Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela's second-born daughter, Zindzi, said to "those who are still trying to drag her name (in the mud), we're very angry (and) hurt".

Reverend Brian Dawson said Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had pushed for change even when others pushed back.

Hundreds of people arrived at the Orlando Stadium early to mourn Winnie Mandela's death, but more importantly to celebrate the life of a woman they revered as the mother of their nation.

"We like our heroes meek, mild, quiet, and male".

In 1990 the world watched when Nelson Mandela finally walked free from prison - hand-in-hand with Winnie.

"'Mam' Winnie contributed a lot to our struggle so it's befitting that we are here today".

There were also performances from the Rwandan Church Choir, and a drum performance by Sam Manzanza.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC), with which Ms Madikizela-Mandela had a rocky relationship over the years, has held memorial events across the country, including Wednesday's ceremony at Soweto's Orlando Stadium and an official funeral scheduled on Saturday.

Mr Mandela divorced her in 1996 claiming infidelity and saying that after his release from prison, his wife made him "the loneliest man".

In the week since her death in a Johannesburg hospital, there has been an outpouring of support for a woman whose fearlessness and defiance helped bring end to the apartheid system, but whose public image was also tarnished by controversy. When it happens every day of your life, when that pain becomes a way of life, I no longer have the emotion of fear. there is no longer anything I can fear.

Tears As South Africa Bids Farewell To Winnie Mandela
Tears As South Africa Bids Farewell To Winnie Mandela

In 1989, Winnie Mandela was charged in the death of 14-yearold Stompie Moeketsi, an alleged informant.

"For me, she was a strong and powerful woman". That still has corruption and violence.

One of them who identified himself as Zazi said his great-grandmother was "the best, a great fighter. we all loved her".

He described his grandmother as "an extraordinary woman, a mother, a soldier, a fighter".

"She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one of its most recognizable faces", the statement said.

"I've got everything that's ever needed to prove it and it did work", Erasmus said, referring to the smear campaign. "For Winnie Mandela, it never did".

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

A condolence book is open for signing at the South African High Commission on Willis Street until Friday April 13.

In 1991, a court found Madikizela-Mandela guilty of the boy's kidnapping and assault and sentenced her to six years in jail.

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