Hundreds at cemetery to pay their last tributes
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.