Win­nie Man­dela: Soweto send-off for anti-apartheid fighter

Sunday Trust - - NEWS - (BBC)

Large crowds gath­ered in South Africa for the fu­neral of the anti-apartheid cam­paigner Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela.

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

Her cas­ket was draped in the na­tional flag, and South African Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa de­liv­ered the eu­logy.

The for­mer wife of Nel­son Man­dela died ear­lier this month at the age of 81.

A con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure, Mrs Madik­izela-Man­dela was lauded for her role in the anti-apartheid strug­gle.

But she was later shunned by the po­lit­i­cal elite for en­dors­ing pun­ish­ment killings for gov­ern­ment in­form­ers.

At the fu­neral, Mrs Madik­izela-Man­dela’s daugh­ter Ze­nani Man­de­laDlamini be­rated the “ex­treme cru­elty” of those she said had led smear cam­paigns against her mother and iso­lated her - only to clear her name af­ter her death.

Pres­i­dent Ramaphosa de­scribed Mrs Madik­ize­laMan­dela as a sym­bol of re­sis­tance who laid bare the ed­i­fice of pa­tri­archy. He apol­o­gised for only be­lat­edly recog­nis­ing her con­tri­bu­tion.

“I’m sorry, Mama, that your or­gan­i­sa­tion de­layed in ac­cord­ing you its hon­our, to this point in time and mo­ment. As pres­i­dent, I will pro­pose that we award you the high­est or­der of our move­ment, you richly de­serve to be awarded”, Mr Ramaphosa said.

There were loud cheers when the rad­i­cal Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid trib­ute to Mrs Madik­izela-Man­dela.

Mrs Madik­izela-Man­dela was a so­cial worker when she met her fu­ture hus­band, then a prom­i­nent anti-apartheid cam­paigner, in the 1950s.

They were mar­ried for a to­tal of 38 years but for al­most three decades of that time, they were sep­a­rated by Mr Man­dela’s long im­pris­on­ment. They had two daugh­ters to­gether.

She was ac­cused of con­duct­ing a vir­tual reign of ter­ror in parts of Soweto by other mem­bers of the ANC in the late 1980s, and in 2003 she was con­victed of fraud.

Or­lando Sta­dium re­ver­ber­ated as thou­sands sang lib­er­a­tion songs, pay­ing trib­ute to the free­dom fighter known to many sim­ply as “Mama Win­nie.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.