Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

South Africa bids farewell to anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

South Africa bids farewell to anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

A reassessment of her contribution to South Africa's apartheid struggle has been playing out in local media. "But her contribution can not be overlooked", he said.

She will be buried in Johannesburg. So that when she was banished to Brandfort, she immersed herself in the affairs of this little community and improved the lives of the people, who, in turn, received her with so much love.

The couple ended the 38 years of marriage in 1996 after which she adopted the surname "Madikizela-Mandela".

She described Madikizela-Mandela as "a heroine for a whole continent and a symbol of resistance".

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy. She was persecuted by the government and suffered imprisonment, torture and banishment as she was the strongest ANC voice within the country during the struggle.

". Her life was dedicated to the unity of the oppressed of all nations".

His refusal to acknowledge former president Jacob Zuma was clearly notable. "Despite the hardship, she faced she never doubted that the struggle for freedom and democracy would triumph and succeed".

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political career after the first free elections in 1994. I feel betrayed by black men; Mama gave me a sense of place as an immigrant child. I felt as though I had a new and second chance at life. "There was no internet‚ no cellphones‚ no Google‚ no Facebook and so for 27 years we knew Nelson Mandela was alive because his heart was beating and that was Winnie's heart‚" Jackson said.

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She also questioned why men in the struggle weren't subjected to the same scrutiny and said "double standards obscure the enormous efforts of women" in the struggle. Recalling a recent conversation with her daughter Zenani Dlamini, he said she cried when she said her mother had lived a hard life. She dared to take on one of the most powerful and evil regimes of the past century, and she triumphed. "It was a spear that throughout the darkest moments of our struggle she wielded with great courage".

The punishment she suffered took a brutal toll physically and psychologically.

Not until 1974, when she was 16 years old, could she visit him. She appealed and was found guilty of being an accessory, and the sentence was reduced to a fine and a suspended prison term. Her political career seemed finished.

"She kept the memories of our father alive. In the face of exploitation, she was a champion of justice and equality". She was a true inspiration for all the people in the world.

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has noted the debate about the role of the media in peddling falsehoods and discrediting certain anti-apartheid activists. Standing up to that system took huge courage and required great sacrifice.

"Praising her now shows us what hypocrites you are!"

Now she stands with the righteous judge of all nations and all people.

Madikizela-Mandela's wisdom was also remembered. "She never left the belly of the beast".

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