Thousands gather for funeral of Winnie Mandela

15 April, 2018, 00:21 | Author: Devin Moran
  • Culture shock for Brazilian photographer attending Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial

Earlier, Malema's speech opened up all wounds when he directly addressed the fallen hero and said, "Mama, there are sell-outs here". Ramaphosa said, "We must continue to touch Mama's wounds, acknowledge her huge pain and torment, and pass on the stories of her suffering to future generations so that it may always be known that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a giant, a pathfinder, a soldier, a healer, a champion of people's struggles and forever the Mother of the Nation".

He says the detention, torture and years of banishment that Madikizela-Mandela endured "emboldened" her as a political activist, but also inflicted "deep wounds" that never healed and went largely ignored by many peers.

She would find her way to the limelight again in 1996 following her divorce that marked the end of her 38 year old union with Nelson Mandela.

The ANC's current president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the country's president, the ANC Women's League, and the UDF were just some of those Malema targeted.

"Mama, the widows of Marikana are still in tears". What do I tell them; what about those who killed their husbands for selfish gains? It is little comfort to us that they have come out now. "Give us a sign Mama". But on Saturday, her family and comrades used her funeral to both celebrate her enormous contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle and hit out against those who campaigned against her.

"She bandaged our wounds. As we continue to touch her wounds, we must be courageous enough to share her life and legacy across our society and with the people she loved", he said. In 1993 she was elected president of African Nationa Congress (ANC). "Just as Mam' (mother) Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honor her memory by uniting in common objective", said Ramaphosa. "Till death, you knew who your enemy was: racial domination, class exploitation, gender oppression". "As president, I will propose that we award you the highest order of our movement, you richly deserve to be awarded", Mr Ramaphosa said.

"I am here Mama to express my condolences to your biological children whom I know, and the rest of Madikizela and Mandela family".


He said they are from a generation that is fortunate to have lived in the time of Madikizela-Mandela.

At the funeral, EFF leader Julius Malema took a swipe at the ANC and its former internal wing, the United Democratic Front, which he said dissociated itself from her during the apartheid era.

I was particularly angered by the former police commissioner George Fivaz for cruelly only coming out with the truth after my mother's death. "It is so disappointing to see how they withheld their words during my mother's lifetime, knowing very well what they would have meant to her", said Dlamini.

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.

"Mama Winnie and her spirit must be with us all the time". She said, Zenani added, "My mother's life was a remarkable one". It was those in power who, insecure and fearful, visited upon her the most vindictive and callous retribution.

As soon as speeches drew to a close, stormy clouds formed over the stadium, followed moments after by heavy rains that drenched mourners and the funeral procession as it drove out to a cemetery 40 kilometres away.

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