Red tide floods in at Win­nie’s funeral ser­vice

EFF breaks up a sea of green and gold as a ca­pac­ity crowd bids farewell to the Mother of the Na­tion

The Sunday Independent - - News - MPILETSO MOTUMI Nizalwa Ngob­ani. Kauleza.– Viva

YOU could have been fooled into think­ing the joint singing of the EFF and ANC meant there was a prom­ise of re­u­nit­ing. But when the singing got hot and the sta­dium filled with colours of both par­ties, the com­pe­ti­tion heated up.

Mem­bers of the EFF made sure that their sea of red was vis­i­ble through­out the chant­ing. At times it was the “reds” who led the song choice with the ANC mem­bers singing along. It was a sight to see as the reds joined the yel­low and greens in the stands.

But they made sure that even as they sat among the ANC colours, their red was grouped to­gether for all to see.

For­tu­nately, when a scuf­fle was about to break out in one of the cor­ners of the stands, the po­lice quickly got the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol be­fore it could get out of hand.

A view from the top of the sta­dium would make one be­lieve that ev­ery­one in it was dressed in the colours of the South African flag.

There was way too much boo­ing in the red groups ev­ery time the names of the ANC lead­ers were an­nounced.

They boos were even louder when for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s name was an­nounced.

It took a lit­tle while longer for pro­gramme di­rec­tor Min­is­ter of De­fence No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to calm them down.

When EFF leader Julius Malema took to the podium, he made it a point to let the reds know that any boo­ing of Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa was a show of dis­re­spect to Mama Win­nie.

Zondwa Man­dela, Ma Win­nie’s grand­son, re­layed the fam­ily’s praise name to much ul­u­la­tion.

He urged women and men to con­tinue her legacy.

“The story lives on in all the women who wake up ev­ery day carv­ing a life for them­selves. I hope to tell the story of a hero of the peo­ple, she was one of us, she was one of you, she dared to con­tinue when the en­tire world con­spired against her and she stood tall.”

Mama Win­nie’s sis­ter Zuk­iswa Madik­izela en­cour­aged women of the world to help their com­mu­ni­ties in ev­ery way they can.

“In a so­ci­ety that con­stantly tells women no you can’t, you can.”

Zondwa added: “To be a hero you only need to be your­self, I hope you re­mem­ber that she was her­self, Nomzamo Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela, the daugh­ter, Mother of the Na­tion. We cel­e­brate and hon­our her.”

A par­tic­u­larly touch­ing trib­ute came from Mama Win­nie’s long-time friend and con­fi­dant Mrs Mok­gobo, who de­scribed Mama Win­nie’s con­tri­bu­tions to so­cial work as rev­o­lu­tion­ary.

“We owe you so much, your deep un­der­stand­ing of the need to rev­o­lu­tionise so­cial work re­mains an im­per­a­tive.

“You told us to free our­selves from the slave men­tal­ity and you taught us to be in the trenches with the peo­ple.”

Bri­tish ac­tress, singer and su­per­model Naomi Camp­bell spoke about what Madik­izela-Man­dela meant to her. “She taught us not to be lim­ited in our move­ments re­mind­ing us al­ways to stay true to who we are.”

The mood at the sta­dium dropped af­ter Malema’s fiery speech. Along with his party mem­bers leav­ing the sta­dium, the en­ergy also seemed to exit the venue.

An­other mem­o­rable speech was that of Madikezela-Man­dela’s daugh­ter Ze­nani Man­dela-Dlamini, whose voice ini­tially strug­gled to en­com­pass the sta­dium but af­ter a few mo­ments and en­cour­age­ment from the singing, she man­aged to find her voice.

“Why have they sat on the truth and waited for my mother’s death to tell it. Only they know why they chose to tell the truth when she de­parted.”

Her voice quiv­ered as she told those who vil­i­fied her mother that they as a fam­ily would never forget.

The mu­si­cal con­tri­bu­tions spoke to the women that Mama Win­nie was. Zonke sang her much-loved and Than­diswa Mazwai gave a ren­di­tion of her pop­u­lar

Mam Dorothy Ma­suka got the au­di­ence go­ing with Mpiletso.

motumi@inl.co.za

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