South Africa celebrates Winnie Mandela at memorial service

South Africa celebrates Winnie Mandela at memorial service

Winky Boy who moved to Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape in the 70s said he was one of Madikizela-Mandela's neighbours in Orlando West, where he still lives today.

EFF leader Julius Malema, an admirer of Madikizela-Mandela whose fiery he evokes, said last week she had been prevented from ascending to the presidency of South Africa by misogynists in the ANC.

Madikizela-Mandela passed on at Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital after a long illness on 1 April.

"To honour the memory of this enormous icon, the ANC encourages the masses of our people throughout the country to work their land in their yards, schools and villages and to produce their own food in honour of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela".

Madikizela-Mandela led an global campaign calling for his release.

After Mr Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, Ms Madikizela-Mandela embraced her own leadership in the freedom struggle with steely determination and at great personal sacrifice.

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"She did not betray our struggle", Jessie Duarte deputy secretary general of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said.

At her memorial service in Orlando on Wednesday‚ speaker after speaker sang the praises of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela‚ who the nation learnt her family had nicknamed Big Mommy.

As a 22-year-old social worker, she married Nelson Mandela in 1958, and stood by him in the years following his 1964 conviction and life imprisonment for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

The Soweto Gospel Choir led those gathered in the singing of the national anthem as proceedings began.

Deputy President Mabuza will deliver the official address at the Official Memorial Service on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto while President Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy at the Official Funeral.

"You reminded our daughters and mothers that they are powerful beyond measure".

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The charismatic master of ceremonies cried "Long live the fighting spirit of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela", and "Viva Soweto!" to spirited chanting from the crowd.

"The plan was to discredit her and that was my job, because I had set up a network going all the way up from Johannesburg - believe it or not - all the way to John Major, who was then the Prime Minister of Britain", Erasmus revealed in the interview.

"I can tell you that 90% of that stuff was utter rubbish and figments of my very fertile imagination and/or a ballooning of information I received from intelligence-gatherers at Soweto security branch".

She said economic transformation was not for one group or another.

Mandela was referencing the white residents of those neighbourhoods who she still considered the opposition.

She was the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president. She was a woman both persecuted and adored, a freedom fighter, a mother who still worked with the disenfranchised.

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Ms Madikizela-Mandela's family members and supporters lashed out at her detractors during their speeches.

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