Sunday, April 15, 2018

Since Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's death was announced on 2 of April, the news has been met by an outpouring of emotion across the country.

Despite it being a funeral, most of the crowd was jubilant, celebrating Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's life with cheers, song, dance and salute. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

Refilwe Pitjeng
Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – Since Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's death was announced on 2 of April, the news has been met by an outpouring of emotion across the country, with the ANC declaring 10 days of national mourning in remembrance of her courage in the struggle to end white-minority rule.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe told those gathered at Orlando Stadium on Saturday that funerals are to celebrate and mourn and not to fight political battles.

“This message must be spread; funerals are about celebrating the lives of the people who have departed.”

ANC Women's League President Bathabile Dlamini used her speech to call on government to honour Madikizela-Mandela by declaring a day dedicated to her.

Dlamini remembered her for going out of her way to protect poor South Africans.

Dlamini said the Mother of the nation always showed leadership and deserves recognition even beyond her life on earth.

“There are many young women who want to be like her who want to change the storyline about women, who want to ensure that we kill patriarchy.”

International model Naomi Campbell, who also paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela, said the world was lucky to have witnessed the struggle stalwart's greatness and courage.

She said the struggle icon helped her and many more overcome their fears.

“Never ever did she waver in her conviction and courage. She always stood tall. We are lucky to have witnessed her greatness, courage, fearlessness and her strength.”

Gauteng Premier David Makhura welcomed mourners to the ceremony earlier in the day.

He says South Africa was lucky to have Madikizela-Mandela.

“We regard ourselves a lucky generation whose lives have been enriched by this colossal revolutionary.”

The acting king of the Abathembu King Zanelizwe said he wanted his father, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, to deliver the message of condolences personally but the Correctional Services Department rejected his request.

King Dalindyebo is serving a 12-year prison sentence for kidnapping, assault and arson.

The acting king said they owe the Madikizela family an apology.

“Your daughter got married to be on her own but she managed to overcome all the pain and suffering to a point where your name is a legendary status.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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