South Africa Bids Emotional Farewell to 'Mama Winnie' Mandela

South Africa: A Reflection - Searching for Winnie's Legacy

Graca Machel, widow of former South African statesman Nelson Mandela also arrived after lunchtime.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted a sombre but touching memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on the morning of 9 April.

The Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Joburg Theatre honoured fallen stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on 12 April. "She was a member of a generation of leaders who survived the most brutal period of state terror in apartheid South Africa and she was a friend of the foundation".

Mourners, many clad in the green and yellow colours of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), danced and sang in a soccer stadium under gray skies. Yes, she was a freedom fighter, but she also did some really bad things, too.

The official funeral is to be held at Orlando Stadium on Saturday and she will be buried at a family grave site in Fourways. "She was a hero for us, a fighter with us", said mourner Lilian Motgung, from nearby Zakariyya Park.

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She said the Douma incident was a "shocking and barbaric act" which killed dozens of innocent people. He said Moscow has "irrefutable information that it was a fabrication".

He said: "Faced with the most heinous of racist and discriminatory regimes, she helped lead the way in showing what it takes to overcome such tyranny - strength, defiance and courage". We worked with her on a number of projects over the last decade, including the book 491 Days, which drew on the archive of her time as a prisoner.

"Even at 81 (she) was one person I thought would live forever", he said in an emotional tribute.

Mananki Joyce Seipei, the mother of a boy whose kidnapping Winnie was convicted of in 1991, was reportedly encouraged by the ANC to attend Wednesday's event.

Winnie Mandela was found guilty of kidnapping Stompie Moeketsi, a 14-year-old boy who was then beaten to death by her bodyguards in her home in 1988.

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