Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Soweto Pays Final Respects To Winnie Mandela

Culture shock for Brazilian photographer attending Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial 'World lucky to have witnessed #WinnieMandela's greatness'
Guillermo Lane | 15 April, 2018, 00:23

She struggled with a cough through the first part of her speech, with her daughter Swati Dlamini-Mandela, who also delivered Madikizela-Mandela's obituary, taking over and reading the first few paragraphs in which Mandela expressed her gratitude to the outpouring of commiserations the family received.

South Africa's liberation struggle icon Winnie Madikizela Mandela was laid to rest on Saturday at Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery in Johannesburg with full military honors.

Former president Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki were booed when programme director Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula acknowledged their presence, seemingly in reaction to Mbeki's interview last week where he said Madikizela-Mandela shouldn't be credited as an individual for her role in the struggle for freedom. However, the tribute from the EFF's commander in chief Julius Malema, drew some of the loudest applause from the crowd. Ramaphosa said, "We must continue to touch Mama's wounds, acknowledge her vast pain and torment, and pass on the stories of her suffering to future generations so that it may always be known that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a giant, a pathfinder, a soldier, a healer, a champion of people's struggles and forever the Mother of the Nation".

She had a message of strength to Zindzi and Zenani Mandela at that stage seated next to President Cyril Ramaphosa. What about those who killed their husbands for selfish gains? "Give us a sign Mama", said Malema.

He immediately announced that the ANC would consider bestowing on the struggle icon its highest award, Isithwalandwe Seaparankoe, an honour reserved for those who have made an outstanding contribution and sacrifice to the liberation struggle.

"She bandaged our wounds". "Don't think for a minute that we've forgotten", she said.

Ramaphosa, who had been promised to be taken to Marikana by Madikizela-Mandela to formally apologise to the widows of the 34 miners who were killed, said that although she passed on before it could happen, he would honour her wishes.

"Know that I am here for you".

South Africa Madikizela Mandela Funeral
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s coffin arrives at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto

Earlier, mourners sang and cheered as Madikizela-Mandela's body was brought into the 40,000-seat Orlando stadium, filled to capacity for the funeral service.

At the time of Madikizela-Mandela's death, the longtime stalwart of the ruling party was a member of South Africa's parliament.

EFF leader Julius Malema didn't hold back his criticism during his address, pointing accusatory fingers of blame at the ANC, the ANC Women's League and the Mass Democrative Movement for not supporting Mam' Winnie while she was alive.

I was particularly angered by the former police commissioner George Fivaz for cruelly only coming out with the truth after my mother's death. And as each of them disavowed these lies, I had to ask myself: 'Why had they sat on the truth and waited till my mother's death to tell it?' It is so disappointing to see how they withheld their words during my mother's lifetime, knowing very well what they would have meant to her.

As the world-and particularly the media, which is so directly complicit in the smear campaign against my mother-took notice of your acts of resistance, so too did this narrative begin to change.

"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". The pain we carry in our hearts can not be extinguished. "She was an exceptional woman, she was fearless".

"The battle for our freedom wasn't some polite picnic to which you came armed with your best behaviour".

Tesla kicked out of probe into fatal Model X crash
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