Thousands attend Winnie Mandela's memorial service

Thousands attend Winnie Mandela's memorial service

Ms Madikizela-Mandela died on April 2nd at the age of 81.

THOUSANDS OF South Africans have come together to remember Winnie Madikizela-Mandela today (April 11). The embodiment of resilience.

The singing and dancing began long before the memorial service itself. "There's no grave big enough to bury her legacy".

Tonight a memorial service is being held at Wellington's St Peter's Anglican Church, to commemorate the woman known as South Africa's mother of the nation.

The town is where Madikizela-Mandela was put under house arrest for eight years by the then-apartheid government.

"As a mother I can imagine Winnie Mandela would have made decisions at any time, for what to prioritise; her children, or the children of South Africa".

Deputy President David Mabuza and Leader of Government Business has today, Tuesday, 10 April 2018, held a briefing session with leaders of political parties represented in Parliament for an update on the state of readiness for the Memorial and Funeral Services of the late struggle stalwart Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Inside, the Soweto Gospel Choir sang several rousing numbers which prompted mourners to stand and dance beside their plastic foldaway seats.

Her great-grandchildren were also among the family members who paid tributes at the memorial service. "We came to mourn and at the same time celebrate that we have freedom", said Lucky Tshabalala, 37, a Soweto native and self-employed contractor.




But, the deputy secretary general had a message for Madikizela-Mandela's detractors "with unforgiving hearts": "Sit down and shut up". This is our hero.

A family statement announcing her death described her as "one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid" who had "sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country".

"Mama Mandela was very methodical". 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.

Those years of harassment and stress were not without their toll.

One young woman who was named after Mandela flew in from the Eastern Cape just to be there.

Winnie Mandela, centre left, with ANC leader Nelson Mandela, centre right, leaves the Rand Supreme Court on February, 1991, after an adjournment in her kidnap and assault court case following the death of teenage activist Stompie Seipei. Madikizela-Mandela steadfastly denied any knowledge of any killings.

In 2003, she was convicted of fraud while serving as an African National Congress lawmaker.

She said the same about free education, which was also an issue Madikizela-Mandela fought for.

"Was she a sinner or was she a saint?"

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