Winnie Mandela funeral: South Africa bids farewell to 'mother of the nation'

#WinnieMandelaFuneral: Winnie's body arrives at home

Ladies and gentlemen, family, friends and all those who've travelled from near and afar to be at my mother's funeral, good morning.

"Sell-outs, we see you", roared Malema.

The president said Madikizela-Mandela might have died but she was not gone, as she lived in the poor girl who still walks the dusty streets, in the domestic worker still fighting for the rights of her children and the prisoner who regretted his choices. Ramaphosa said, "We must continue to touch Mama's wounds, acknowledge her huge pain and torment, and pass on the stories of her suffering to future generations so that it may always be known that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a giant, a pathfinder, a soldier, a healer, a champion of people's struggles and forever the Mother of the Nation". We have been touched by your humanity. We see you in your attractive suits!

The British supermodel Naomi Campbell also addressed the mourners where she also broke down while on the podium. Because hers is one of the most unique stories in recent history.

"Mam'Winnie's life was one of service. We did not do the same for her", Ramaphosa said.

As a family we have watched in awe as young women stood up and took a stand of deep solidarity with my mother.

"She confronted gun-carrying white men who were sworn killers of the apartheid defence force throughout the long years of the state of emergency in the 1980s". It is a pity that all these things were not known. They could not break her. What do we do with them?

"Why have they sat on the truth and waited until my mother's death to tell it?"

And to those who've vilified my mother through books, on social media and speeches, don't for a minute think we've forgotten.

"Mama Winnie and her spirit must be with us all the time". Why didn't you do the same to any of her male counterparts and remind the world of the many crimes they committed before they were called saints.

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"Some of those who sold you out to the regime are here".

"The battle for our freedom wasn't some polite picnic to which you came armed with your best behaviour". It was intolerant of any talk of democracy, especially from a woman activist.

President Cyril Ramaphosa‚ delivering the eulogy for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at her official funeral in Soweto on Saturday‚ focused on how she had united the country in her life and after her death. "Till death, you knew who your enemy was: racial domination, class exploitation, gender oppression". Malema said Madikizela Mandela put the country first above her own personal safety. "She cherished freedom as much as she treasured family". She was not prepared to choose between the two. Proud, defiant, articulate, she exposed the lie of apartheid.

Not until 1974, when she was 16 years old, could she visit him. She was one of the people. Zenani said, "It was my mother who kept his (Nelson Mandela) memory alive". Since apartheid ended in the 1990s, she served in several government roles, including as a member of parliament and leader of the ruling party's women's league. "Loudly and without apology, she spoke truth to power", he said.

In 2003, she was on the opposite side of love, when she was convicted of fraud and theft over a bank loan scam.

"Even at the darkest moments of our struggle for liberation, Mam' Winnie was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free", Ramaphosa said in a statement. Most of the women wore doeks.

"She felt compelled to organise, to mobilise, to lead when those who led our people had been sent across the bay to the (Robben) Island, while others were forced to flee beyond our borders or were martyred by a state that knew no mercy". She died on April 2, after a long illness.

Trust us when we say, Juju was just getting started. "I'm very grateful to be here today". It is hard to accept that she is no longer with us. She always stood tall.

Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela's will was matched by a keen political sense and a presence that inspired both awe and admiration, and commended her for choosing to live a life of service and compassion. She inspires our actions.



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