Thousands Gather for Winnie Mandela's Funeral in Johannesburg

South Africa buries Winnie Mandela

Crowds have gathered in South Africa for the funeral of the anti-apartheid campaigner, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Malema's assertions seem to have been confirmed by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also ANC president when he said Madikizela Mandela was alone.

Malema was one of the speakers at Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's funeral on 14 April 2018.

Thunder rumbled and it started to rain because the casket left the 40,000-seat stadium - a blessing, witnesses mentioned.

There were loud cheers when the radical Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.

He added: "In apartheid South Africa, the combination of patriarchy and racism together meant that black women confronted enormous obstacles from the cradle to the grave - making her own achievements all the more exceptional".

During Mandela's 27-year incarceration for his fight against apartheid, Madikizela-Mandela campaigned for his release and for the rights of black South Africans undergoing detention, banishment, and arrest.

Then, addressing members of the A.N.C. who had been hostile to Ms. Madikizela-Mandela, he said: "We see you in your lovely suits".

On the eve of the funeral, Winnie Mandela's body was transferred from a funeral parlour to lie in state at her Soweto home. Her very appearance -regal, confident, and stylish angered the apartheid authorities and galvanised the people.

Madikizela-Mandela trained as a social worker.

As evidence emerged in the dying years of apartheid of the brutality of her Soweto enforcers, known as the "Mandela United Football Club", some South Africans questioned her "Mother of the Nation" soubriquet.

She struggled with a cough through the first part of her speech, with her daughter Swati Dlamini-Mandela, who also delivered Madikizela-Mandela's obituary, taking over and reading the first few paragraphs in which Mandela expressed her gratitude to the outpouring of commiserations the family received.

Mara Louw, who is close to the family, said they were not prepared for her death. "She fought from beginning to the end".

While a sombre occasion, the mood was celebratory as mourners sang some of Mam' Winnie's favourite hymns and struggle songs.

"Today we lay to rest our heroine, a struggle stalwart and mother-to-the-nation", the government tweeted Saturday.

For years, she was routinely harassed by apartheid-state safety forces, imprisoned and tortured. In 1977, she was banished to a remote town. But Winnie Mandela refused to break.

Despite Madikizela-Mandela's long struggle against the white-minority government in South Africa, she was accused of being involved in deadly violence against suspected traitors.

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