Mourn­ers out in their num­bers to cel­e­brate Win­nie’s life

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - RABBIE SERUMULA

EVEN in death, Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela brought peo­ple to­gether.

Mem­bers of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion (MKMVA) car­ried ANC flags de­pict­ing the party’s past and present pres­i­dents, marched in front of the cof­fin.

Clenched fists were raised through­out, salut­ing the beloved “Mother of the Na­tion” as she was known.

For three hours, peo­ple waited pa­tiently for a glimpse of the Strug­gle stal­wart’s hearse to pass by en route to her Or­lando, Soweto, home yes­ter­day.

“We would have waited longer if we had to. Do you un­der­stand the woman Mama was? She is worth the wait,” said Grace Masemola, 62, who was part of the com­mu­nity’s guard of hon­our.

Even be­fore Madik­izela-Man­dela’s cof­fin left the Ku­pane fu­neral par­lour‚ peo­ple were singing Strug­gle songs and wav­ing ANC and EFF flags.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple lined the streets as her fu­neral cortege made its way home from the fu­neral par­lour.

“It had been far too long since unity en­gulfed a town­ship as it did to­day. Neigh­bours once again be­came neigh­bours as we came out of our houses, sat to­gether with our chil­dren in the street. You don’t see that any­more,” an­other res­i­dent said.

The scorch­ing sun could not dis­cour­age those in at­ten­dance.

Mo­tor­bikes that formed part of the pro­ces­sion revved their en­gines and the com­mu­nity burst into louder song.

They ul­u­lated, raised their fists in the air. re­peat­ing the Strug­gle phrase, “Amandla! Viva Mama Win­nie Viva!” as the hearse got closer.

Umkhonto we Sizwe vet- er­ans led the pro­ces­sion to Madik­izela- Man­dela’s home. She was wel­comed home by ul­u­lat­ing women wear­ing doeks.

Men from both the Man­dela and Madik­izela fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing her grand­sons, car­ried the cof­fin to­wards the yard.

Dig­ni­taries in­clud­ing am­bas­sadors, min­is­ters and po­lit­i­cal party lead­ers had ar­rived ear­lier at the house.

Graca Machel, the wi­dow of for­mer South African states- man Nel­son Man­dela, also ar­rived af­ter lunchtime.

As cul­ture dic­tates, Madik­izela- Man­dela’s body spent the night at her Soweto home and will to­day be buried at Four­ways Me­mo­rial Park close to her great-grand­daugh­ters, Ze­nani Zanethemba No­ma­sonto Man­dela and baby Ze­nawe Man­dela burial sites, on the fam­ily’s plot at the me­mo­rial park. – ad­di­tional re­port­ing African News Agency (ANA)

PIC­TURE: REUTERS/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

A po­lice of­fi­cer car­ries a boy hold­ing flow­ers out­side the house of Madik­izela-Man­dela in Or­lando West, Soweto, yes­ter­day.

PIC­TURE: BHEKIKHAYA MABASO/ AFRICA NEWS AGENCY/ ANA

The cav­al­cade near Madik­izela-Man­dela’s home.

PIC­TURE: ITUME­LENG ENGLISH/ AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Mourn­ers sing Strug­gle songs as they wait along the streets of Or­lando East to view Mama Win­nie’s cof­fin in Soweto.

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