South Africa Pays Tribute To Winnie Mandela

Jo Caldwell
April 5, 2018

In 1991, she was convicted of kidnapping teenage activist Stompie Moeketsi, who was killed by her personal bodyguards, a deadly vigilante group known as the Mandela United Football Club.

Winnie, a former wife of Nelson Mandela, died on Monday in a Johannesburg hospital at the age of 81 after a long illness.

"She had campaigned for 27 long years for his release".

The announcement followed an earlier confirmation of her death by the Mandela family late yesterday afternoon.

The outspoken leader of the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party Julius Malema, who became a confidant of Winnie Mandela in recent years, was also among mourners at her modest two-storey red brick home on Tuesday.

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Melanie Veness, the CEO of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business said that they were saddened to hear of the passing of ANC Stalwart Winnie Mandela, whose contribution to democracy in South Africa is undeniable.

The memorial service will be held on April 11.

After the end of apartheid in 1994, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela served as the Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and as a Member of Parliament.

"We are anchored around her life this time around, remembering what she has been standing for, and that is as alliance partners we must know that unity in the alliance is sacrosanct, it is nothing to play with".

Over the years, Madikizela-Mandela has shown little remorse for her actions.

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Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has described the death of the anti-apartheid crusader, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, as a twilight in the annals of South African history.

South Africans gathered into the Monday night outside her Soweto home to pay tribute to the former first lady they called, 'mother of the nation'.

A divisive figure because of her militant approach to opposing apartheid, she was also lauded around the world for her dedication to fighting the racist regime while her husband languished in jail.

Her political activities meant that Winnie herself was incarcerated for lengthy periods, including being placed under house arrest and banished by the South African government.

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