Winnie Mandela laid to rest in state funeral

Thousands gathered inside the Orlando Stadium for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral on 14 April 2018

Thousands gathered inside the Orlando Stadium for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral on 14 April 2018

A bus full of mourners travels to Orlando Stadium in Soweto for the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Saturday.

She spoke of how warm Mam'Winnie was whenever she visited her during trips to South Africa. "She protected both from constant assault from apartheid state".

Most of their 38-year marriage was spent apart, leaving her to raise their two daughters alone as she kept his political dream alive.

She paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela after a brief address by ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe.

He acknowledged that the stalwart had wished to see him return to the 106-year-old liberation movement, but said he had pleaded his case as to why he and members of his party couldn't do so.

"WINNIE vs APARTHEID: "(Winnie) She dared to take on one of the most powerful and evil regimes of the past century, and she triumphed.

"It is hard to accept that she is no longer with us", cried her daughter Zenani Dlamini, "because she was always so strong".

Many memorialising Ms Madikizela-Mandela have recognised her as a political force in her own right.

She was recognized by many memorializing Madikizela-Mandela being a power.

Madikizela-Mandela died this month in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness. Some suggested a conspiracy against her. Others insisted the darker side of her story should not be brushed aside. In his tribute he singled out the now disbanded United Democratic Front, who distanced itself from Madkizela-Mandela during her controversies in the 1990s and members of the ANC's women's league who called Madkizela-Mandela a criminal. She was also accused of theft and kidnapping, which she denied. Her stints being being a lawmaker were lack luster.

She said Madikizela Mandela suffered at the brutality of the Apartheid government and humiliation. The victims were suspected of being police informers.

She appealed and was found guilty of being an accessory, and the sentence was reduced to a fine and a suspended prison term.

Zezani was almost born in prison, as Winnie Mandela was arrested close to her birth in 1959 and when she was four her father was sent to prison, where he would stay for the next 27 years.

As the world received news of their divorce, public opinion was divided with some noting that while Mandela had forgiven his jailers and embraced reconciliation, he could not pardon his wife for being unfaithful while he was in jail for 27 years.

Dlamini remembered her for going out of her way to protect poor South Africans.

"You redefined what it meant to be a black woman at a time when women were voiceless". More importantly, the film reveals just how ugly the physical and psychological war of apartheid was and what it took from those who stood against it. You have left an indelible legacy!

Thousands of mourners crowded into a stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, where the campaigner was given a high-level send-off before her burial in Johannesburg.

"After Nelson Mandela was jailed, she said: 'They think, because they have put my husband on an island, that he will be forgotten".

The South African National Editors' Forum is meanwhile calling for proof to back the claims. "Adherents to the politics of adulation have been in close combat with those who avow the politics of condemnation".

The president praised her courage and selflessness in the fight against white domination.

The suffering of those killed by her bodyguards "should not be erased because Madikizela-Mandela has become a feminist icon", Morudu wrote. "Too often we were not there for her as she tried to rise", he said.

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