South Africans say goodbye to Winnie Mandela after days of mourning

Michele Moreno
April 15, 2018

There were loud cheers when the radical Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela. "Too often, we were not there for her", he said. Without the distortions.' It is not two years since I uttered those words and already they're coming true.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy.

"As we bid her farewell we are forced to admit that as Mama Winnie rose, she rose alone. If you disrespect President Ramaphosa, you're disrespecting Mama Winnie". The crowd, which included former presidents Jacob Zuma, Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki, roared in approval.

Winnie held different positions in the government including and was appointed deputy Prime Minister of arts, culture, science and technology in 1994. What about those who killed the husbands of Marikana widows for selfish profits?

"We mention these few incidents just to make them aware that we know what they did to you".

Although he did not name Ramaphosa, the EFF has previously expressed that he had a role in the killing of 34 miners by South African police during a protracted strike for better wages in 2012.

"You were never a member of the UDF, you were a member of the ANC". She said the spear has fallen and promised to pick it up as women.

"Sell-outs, we see you", roared Malema.

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.

"Never ever did she waver in her conviction and courage".

".We gather here not only to pay our final respects to a great African woman‚ but to affirm the common humanity that‚ through her life‚ she revealed in us".

As soon as Malema wrapped up his speech, EFF supporters started streaming out of the stadium. He said apartheid and patriarchy could not break her.

Ramaphosa said Madikizela Mandela provided leadership at the most hard time and never demanded a reward. When we were with her, she did not even have to say anything: her love for us was written on her face. It is hard to accept that she is no longer with us. She has died but is not gone.

Mourners sang and cheered as her body was brought into the Orlando stadium where the funeral service was taking place.

She said the media was "complicit in smearing my mother". Then she burst into tears.

He said the wall is about a remarkable woman, strong women and the mother of the nation.

Winnie Mandela, who died in Johannesburg aged 81 on April 2 after a long illness, has been celebrated for helping keep Nelson Mandela's dream of a non-racial South Africa alive while he was behind bars for 27 years.

"She left all of us with mixed emotions: we feel orphaned, we feel offended, but at the same time we feel affirmed", he said while welcoming mourners to the official state funeral service. But she touched our wounds all the time.

She saw for herself the deliberate intent of the apartheid rulers to impoverish the people of this country.

"We must continue to touch Ma Winnie's wounds and acknowledge her pain and pass on the story of her suffering so that it may always be known that Ma Winnie was a giant, a pathfinder and a healer". And all we ask is: no matter how tempting it may be to compare and contrast them, just know that sometimes it is enough to contemplate two historical figures and accept that they complemented each other, far more than any popular narrative might suggest.

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