South Africa Says Goodbye To Winnie Mandela

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For many South Africans, the most memorable image of Madikizela-Mandela is of her punching the air in a clenched-fist salute as she walked hand-in-hand with Mandela out of Victor Verster prison, near Cape Town, on February 11, 1990.

Some ANC members started attempts to drown out Malema by booing and singing, but he continued and called on Soweto residents to never forget her name. "All those who resigned from the women's NEC [national executive committee], who said they don't want to be led by a criminal, are here", he said. I truly believe that it is worth repeating that long before it was fashionable to call for Nelson Mandela's release from Robben Island, it was my mother who kept his memory alive. "It is hard to accept that she is no longer with us". Proud, defiant, articulate, she exposed the lie of apartheid. "Her abiding fidelity to the masses and the ANC is the stuff made of legends - death has not defeated her, her powerful and defiant voice still echoes today". He continued, "Yet through everything Mama Winnie endured they could not break her, they could not silence her".

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

As a 22-year-old social worker, she married Nelson Mandela in 1958, and stood by him in the years following his 1964 conviction and life imprisonment for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

She said those who vilified her mother should not for one moment think that the family would forget that. "She was one of us".

"She is truly the mother of South Africa", Jackson told journalists on Friday. Zenani and her sister Zindzi were raised by their mother while their father Nelson Mandela was in jail for 27 years.

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Condolences have poured in from around the world in remembrance of one of the 20th century's most prominent political activists.

The British supermodel Naomi Campbell also addressed the mourners where she also broke down while on the podium. "I know that Julius will come with me so that we can heal the wounds of those in Marikana", he said. She was the eyes and ears of the world during those dark days. She was always striving for equality, and to keep South Africa at the forefront of people's thoughts.

Ramaphosa says that South Africa is burdened by the sorrow of Winnie's death, but the people are also comforted by the richness and profound meaning of her life.

Debate has raged over Madikizela-Mandela's legacy since the 81-year-old passed away on 2 April in Johannesburg.

Foreign dignitaries at the funeral include the leaders of Namibia, Swaziland and the Republic of Congo, as well as American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and global supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Also present at the funeral service were former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, dignitaries from African countries and celebrities such as British supermodel Naomi Campbell and US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. The President declared 10-day mourning with flags flying at half mast.

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