Crowds of S.Africans lay to rest 'Mama' Winnie Mandela

Culture shock for Brazilian photographer attending Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial

He said he would ask the ANC's national executive committee to award her the highest honour awarded to stalwarts in the party, called Isithwalandwe or Seaparankoe.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office two months ago, offered an apology for the country's failure to honour Winnie for her contribution to the liberation of the country.

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. "Just as Mam' (mother) Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honor her memory by uniting in common goal", said Ramaphosa.

"In death, she has demonstrated that our many differences along political party and racial lines and the numerous disputes we may have are eclipsed by our shared desire to follow her lead in building a just, equitable and caring society", he said.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Gauteng premier David Mahura said in his welcoming to the service that the "truth will triumphantly march forward to tell us who" Madikizela-Mandela was.

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

Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela spoke of many thoughts she had about how the revolutionary ideals and morality of her movement should be restored and not be undermined by corruption and self-enrichment.

"She represents a fighting spirit because even though she lived through the apartheid era, she never gave up", 20-year old college student, Gift Mokale said.

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

In 1991, a court found Madikizela-Mandela guilty of the boy's kidnapping and assault and sentenced her to six years in jail. "They are crying the loudest, more than us - who died for you", Malema said, before lambasting those who he believed had wronged the struggle veteran.

Julius Malema pays tribute to Madikizela-Mandela’s
Julius Malema pays tribute to Madikizela-Mandela’s

He said he had a conversation with her shortly before her death about her worries and her wishes. Her reputation was tainted by accusations of human rights violations that seemed sometimes at odds with Mandela's fight for inclusiveness.

In a eulogy read by Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, the family recounted how the media and the government smeared Mandela's name with countless allegations, robbing her the rightful legacy she deserved as a liberation hero.

Also present at the service were South Africa's former presidents, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, as well as foreign dignitaries from Kenya, Namibia and Lesotho.

He went on to say she stood alone as a bulwark against the apartheid regime, when she wiped away people's tears, carried their coffins and inspired violence-fatigued communities to carry on.

She was an African woman who - in her attitude, her words and her actions - defied the very premise of apartheid ideology and male superiority.

She had been harassed by apartheid-state protection forces, tortured and imprisoned. Yet, through everything, she endured.

Zukiswa Madikizela, one of Madikizela-Mandela's three sisters, paid tribute on behalf of the Madikizela family. She was one of you.

"I am here Mama to express my condolences to your biological children whom I know, and the rest of Madikizela and Mandela family". Madikizela-Mandela denied any knowledge of any killings. She chose as her vocation the alleviation of the suffering of others.

The funeral procession leaves the Orlando Stadium.

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