Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Ramaphosa vows to go visit Marikana widows at Madikizela-Mandela's funeral

Winnie Madikizela Mandela wearing a doek in Johannesburg in December 2017 View Slideshow Winnie Madikizela Mandela wearing a doek in Johannesburg in December 2017. Mujahid Safodien AFP Getty Images
Glenn Montgomery | 15 April, 2018, 01:00

Ramaphosa said, "We must continue to touch Mama's wounds, acknowledge her enormous 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".

Magashule said Mama Winnie has touched the lives of many and he said he is happy that you can find young artists in Soweto to help draw the wall of remembrance.

"Like her, you show that we can be lovely, powerful and revolutionary, even as we challenge the lies that have been peddled for so long", she said, referring to her mother being sidelined by the ANC and much of society for her radicalism. "She had a very hard life".

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.

As activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's casket was escorted from her funeral on Saturday thousands of people cheered, sang and cried. "Too often we were not there for her as she tried to rise", he said.

In 1991, Madikizela-Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault, but her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine and a two-year suspended sentence on appeal.

Political battles played out at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral, as some leaders were booed and old rivalries were hashed out in tribute speeches to the global icon. Not long afterwards, she achieved also the couple along with African National Congress activist Mandela married in 1958, forming one of this century's marriages. While Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island, she became his voice, providing regular updates to followers hungry for every detail. She said the spear has fallen and promised to pick it up as women. Her reputation was tainted by accusations of human rights violations that seemed sometimes at odds with Mandela's fight for inclusiveness.

Madikizela-Mandela's daughter Princesses Zenani Mandela said her mother rose against patriarchy and kept Mandela's memory alive while he was in prison.

Former South African presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki are also attending the funeral. Since apartheid ended in the 1990s, she served in several government roles, including as a member of parliament and leader of the ruling party's women's league.

Nelson Mandela congratulates Winnie after her election to the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress on the last day of its 49th constitutional congress in Bloemfontein South Africa December 1994. The Mandelas separated in 1992
View Slideshow

He said he felt pain when her elder daughter Zenani related her mother's suffering and how she lived a very hard life.

"Mama Winnie's life was about service, service to her people". South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said her death unified people across political divide and beyond the country's borders. Proud, defiant, articulate, she exposed the lie of apartheid. Yet, through everything, she endured.

Isithwalandwe, which literally means "the one who wears the plumes of the rare bird" was traditionally bestowed only on the bravest warriors and those who distinguished themselves in the eyes of all the people for exceptional qualities of leadership and heroism.

The documentary, however, lacks balance because its ultimate aim is to clear Madikizela-Mandela's name.

EFF supporters join ANC members to pay tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

He added: "She chose as her vocation the alleviation of the suffering of others".

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

She was the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president.

The funeral procession leaves the Orlando Stadium.

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