Supporters Sing in Honor of Winnie Mandela in Soweto

12 April, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Joshua Bennett
  • RAJESH JANTILAL  Getty Images                       South Africans gather to pay respect to Mam' Winnie during a candle vigil in Durban

Many were clad in the black, green and gold of the ruling African National Congress political party, some in T-shirts with an image of Madikizela-Mandela.

Swelling African hymns by the Soweto Gospel Choir brought the thousands attending Wednesday's memorial to their feet and they swayed and sang along.

The death of Ms Madikizela-Mandela, often called the Mother of the Nation, has triggered widespread soul-searching in South Africa over the legacy of one of the nation's most important fighters against racial discrimination, who was also dogged by scandal.

"Every time we met Mrs Mandela, she'd tell wonderful stories, she was like no other", church leader John Moletsane told AFP as he made his way to the ceremony.

In his meeting today, Deputy President Mabuza thanked leaders of political parties for their unwavering support and commitment to honour Mama Madikizela-Mandela and the conduct of various members of the public displayed at various memorial events taking place throughout the country.

After Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, Madikizela-Mandela embraced her own leadership in the freedom struggle with steely determination and at great personal sacrifice.

Mourners have gathered at the memorial service for anti-Apartheid campaigner Madikizela-Mandela who died last week.


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. "I don't know where South Africa would be without her - no one can fill her space".

Outside Africa, Madikizela-Mandela was known largely because of her ex-husband, but in South Africa she was the mouthpiece and face of the bitter struggle against the racist regime.

"It was here in the Free State that Mama Winnie was banished by the racist apartheid government, and where she was sheltered by the community of Majwemasweu township in Brandfort", Molewa said. 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.

They were accused of the disappearances and killings of at least 18 boys and young men and the group's leader was convicted of killing a 14-year-old boy, nicknamed Stompie, who was accused of being a police informer. She appealed, had the accessory charge dismissed, and paid a fine. Madikizela-Mandela steadfastly denied any knowledge of any killings.

Bambatha said he had organised for his girlfriend and their friends to come to Madikizela-Mandela's Orlando house where he proposed.

"I believe, as (Nelson Mandela) did, that a saint is not somebody who never sinned".

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