Crowds of S.Africans lay to rest Winnie Mandela

SOWETO: South Africans became out in 1000's to bid final goodbyes to anti-apartheid icon and Nelson Mandela's former spouse Winnie Mandela who was laid to leisure with full state honours on Saturday.
Mourners crammed the 37,500-seater Orlando Stadium within the township of Soweto where Winnie lived and erupted into loud cheers because the casket carrying her remains was wheeled in.

The casket draped with South Africa's nationwide colours was placed in the midst of the stadium in front of a degree, decked in white and yellow flora.

Mourners dressed within the colours of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as smartly those of the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), sang "there's no-one like Winnie", an adapted standard liberation wrestle track.

In a shifting, but fiery eulogy, her daughter slammed her mom's critics.

"It was my mother who kept his (Nelson Mandela's) memory alive," said a teary Zenani. "South Africa, and indeed the world, holds men and women to different standards of morality."

She added that "praising her now that she is gone shows what hypocrites you are."

"They robbed my mother of her rightful legacy during her lifetime," she said of Winnie, who she praised for taking up "one of the most powerful and evil regimes of the past century".

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

"I'm sorry Mama that your organisation (ANC) delayed in according you its honour. I'm sorry that we delayed this much, to this point," he said in an eulogy.

Firebrand opposition politician Julius Malema, who was expelled from the ANC, but who remained just about Winnie, said "she died a revolutionary... she never sold out".

As quickly as speeches drew to an in depth, stormy clouds formed over the stadium, followed moments after by heavy rains that soaking wet mourners and the funeral procession as it drove out to a cemetery 40 kilometres away.

Mourners broke into any other liberation track chanting in Xhosa: "this is the Winnie we know".

The ceremony concluded 10 days of nationwide mourning during which period hundreds of 1000's of South Africans have paid tribute to the "Mother of the Nation" at her Soweto house and in other places.

Winnie Mandela, who died in Johannesburg elderly 81 on April 2 after an extended sickness, has been celebrated for helping stay Nelson Mandela's dream of a non-racial South Africa alive while he was at the back of bars for 27 years.

"She was one of the most profound leaders of the ANC," said 53-year-old mourner Brian Magqaza. "She fought from beginning to the end. Go well Mama."

Former South African presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki additionally attended the funeral. Mourners booed when the presence of scandal-tainted Zuma was publicly stated.

Foreign dignitaries at the funeral come with the leaders of Namibia, Swaziland and the Republic of Congo, in addition to American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and global supermodel Naomi Campbell.

Her "steely leadership...gave strength to us all. She taught us not to be limited in our thoughts," said Campbell.

The township of Soweto is massively symbolic in South Africa as it was a crucible of black resistance against white minority rule, which ended with elections in 1994.

Winnie Mandela's husband was the primary black president of democratic South Africa, but she refused to follow many different struggle-era politicians who moved from townships like Soweto to previously white-only suburbs after the top of apartheid.

Instead she remained embedded in the community where she met Nelson Mandela at a bus stop in 1957.

Her frame was buried at a privately run graveyard in Johannesburg's upmarket Fourways suburb where two of her great-grand children also are buried.

The funeral closes the final bankruptcy within the historical past of a lady who was exalted for her fearless defiance of apartheid rule but also implicated in violence and corruption in later life.

In 1991, she was convicted for kidnapping and being an adjunct within the assault of a 14-year-old boy.

But her controversial reputation was largely brushed aside within the wake of her death with tributes to her bravery, independence and integrity dominating public commemorations.


In old age, Winnie Mandela emerged as a respected elder who was feted as a dwelling reminder of her past due husband -- and of the long and celebrated wrestle against apartheid.


Most in their 38-year marriage was spent aside, leaving her to boost their two daughters on my own as she stored his political dream alive.


But when Nelson Mandela died in 2013, it emerged he had left Winnie nothing in his will.


On Saturday, a 21-gun salute might be fired at her final resting position.
Crowds of S.Africans lay to rest Winnie Mandela Crowds of S.Africans lay to rest Winnie Mandela Reviewed by kailash soni on April 15, 2018 Rating: 5
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