Published: Sat, April 14, 2018

South Africa bids emotional farewell to 'Mama' Winnie Mandela

South Africa bids emotional farewell to 'Mama' Winnie Mandela

A memorial service was held for Winnie Mandela at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg.

Government moved the memorial service from Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto to the stadium.

Mandela, who died in Johannesburg aged 81 on April 2 after a long illness, was celebrated for keeping her husband Nelson Mandela's dream of a non-racial South Africa alive during his 27-year imprisonment. She was surrounded by family members. "I don't know where South Africa would be without her - no one can fill her space".

He said: "I think we are more infiltrated today because we are dealing with our own".

Deputy President David Mabuza also addressed the crowd, saying Madikizela-Mandela was a selfless comrade of the liberation struggle.

She was the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president. "By the pain she took‚ we are healed‚" said Jackson.

Another spear has fallen in the passing of political activist and struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

In the week since her death in a Johannesburg hospital, there has been a surge of support for the woman whose fearlessness and defiance helped bring end to apartheid but whose public image was tarnished by controversy.

Her activism and resistance to white minority rule, known as apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions. She will be laid to rest on April 14 during a state funeral. "She did not betray our struggle", Jessie Duarte deputy secretary general of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said. The audience at Madikizela-Mandela's memorial were treated to performances by The Soil, Judith Sephuma, Tsepo Tshola, Lira and Cassper Nyovest amongst many others.

A memorial was also held in the town of Brandfort where Winnie Mandela was kept under house arrest for eight years.

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