Hun­dreds at ceme­tery to pay their last trib­utes

The Sunday Independent - - Politics - MANYANE MANYANE

WHEN Win­nie Madik­ize­la­Man­dela’s body ar­rived at Four­ways Me­mo­rial Park, the ceme­tery where she was laid to rest on Satur­day, emo­tions were run­ning high as mourn­ers in black dresses and doeks cried, ul­u­lated and sang.

Hun­dreds were camped out­side the ceme­tery to pay their last trib­utes to the Mother of the Na­tion.

They were at the ceme­tery from the morn­ing un­til Madikezela-Man­dela’s body ar­rived at 4pm.

They broke through the chain formed by po­lice­men and forced their way in­side the grave­yard.

Among the se­cu­rity guards there were SAPS, K9 unit and metro po­lice mem­bers pa­trolling to keep or­der on the nearby roads.

Gaut­eng emer­gency man­age­ment ser­vices and the mil­i­tary health ser­vice were also in at­ten­dance. Be­fore Madik­izela-Man­dela’s funeral pro­ces­sion ar­rived at the ceme­tery, a he­li­copter was pa­trolling the grave­yard. Among the mul­ti­tudes of mourn­ers was El­iz­a­beth Moko­tong, who trav­elled from Pre­to­ria to pay her last trib­ute to the strug­gle stal­wart.

“I thought it was best for me to be here. This is a great loss to women and South Africa.

“She was a hero of the na­tion, a global mo­ti­va­tor who would al­ways stand on the side of the poor.

“I came here to pay my last trib­utes and take the courage to con­tinue with her spirit,” said the 70-year-old. The day was very im­por­tant for 60-year-old Bev­erly Ran­dall, who lives closer to the ceme­tery.

“Win­nie de­serves a wellde­served rest, and I came here to pay my last re­spects to her.

“I am very happy that she is buried in my area. I will visit her ev­ery day.

“I don’t mind be­ing here for her. She worked for us and she de­served this home of peace,” she said. Ouma Mo­latedi also wit­nessed the burial.

“I wanted to see it with my own eyes that she is no more, then I will be happy. This is a woman who fought for free­dom.”

Terry Phum­davhudzi had the same sen­ti­ments for the ANC heroine.

“I thought there was a need for me to be here at the ceme­tery be­cause this is my last chance and I won’t see her again.

“It hard to be here, but I thought it was best to be where she will rest,” she said.

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