Saturday, April 14, 2018

Soweto, Johannesburg: The late struggle icon Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park.

The emotional, private burial was the culmination of days of mourning, visits by various dignitaries to the Madikizela-Mandela family home in Soweto, a memorial service and the special official funeral at Orlando Stadium earlier today.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the many family members who sat under the white marquee, adorned with white and purple flowers, and watched as the casket containing the body of the Mother of the Nation was lowered.

Earlier, members of the South African National Defence Force undraped the casket and handed the South African National Flag to the family of Madikizela-Mandela.

The mood was sombre as The Last Post was sounded.

Madikizela-Mandela passed away on 2 April at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. She was accorded a Special Official Funeral Category 1 in line with the Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy. In this regard, the funeral contained elements of both military and ceremonial honours.

Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini gave a moving speech at Orlando Stadium. GCIS

Over 40 000 mourners attended the funeral service at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, with millions watching the live broadcast on tv and radio, testament to the people’s love for Mama Winnie.

In a statement on Saturday, government thanked the Madikizela and Mandela family for sharing Mama Winnie with the nation and the world during her life and in her death.

“The family has generously worked with government to make it possible for all South Africans to share in mourning our stalwart,” said a statement issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

Government extended its best wishes to the Madikizela and Mandela family as they make peace with Mama Winnie’s passing in the coming period.

Members of Methodist Church paying their last respects and honour to one of their own; Mama Winnie Mandela.

“In the spirit of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and in honour of her memory it is now our shared responsibility to continue to shape a national identity that is built on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance.

“Let us reach out to those in need as she would have and take them along on our journey as we build on the principles of equality, democracy and human rights that Mama Winnie fought so hard for. Hamba Kahle Mama Winnie,” it said.

Earlier, during the service, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to honour the memory of the late struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, by uniting in a common purpose to heal the divisions of the past and eradicate inequality.

“Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will dedicate all our resources, all our efforts, all our energy to the empowerment of the poor and vulnerable.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the eulogy during the funeral service of Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

“Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will not betray the trust of her people, we will not squander or steal their resources, and that we will serve them diligently and selflessly,” said President Ramaphosa.

Former Presidents Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe as well Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Namibian President Hage Geingob were among the dignitaries who attended the funeral to pay their final respects.–

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