South Africa's former Presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki were welcomed at the funeral service of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with boos and cheers at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.Zuma was accompanied by his wife Bongi Ngema-Zuma to pay his last respects to the late stalwart, a woman whom he had an uneasy relationship with during his controversial and scandal-ridden nine-year reign that ended by a recall from the state presidency.
Madikizela-Mandela's death on April 2 at the age of 81 after a long illness was met by an outpouring of emotion across the country, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties holding memorials in remembrance of her courage in the struggle to end white-minority rule.
"What must I tell them?"
"I'm sorry Mama that your organisation delayed in according you its honour", Ramaphosa said. What must we tell them?
"And to those of you who vilified my mother through books, on speeches, and on social media, don't even think for a minute that we have forgotten".
"As we enter the era of intensified struggles for economic emancipation, we are inspired by Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who not only embodied the ideals of economic justice for all, but also fought with uncompromising resilience for the aspirations of the downtrodden masses of our people". "Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will not betray the trust of her people, we will not squander or steal their resources, and that we will serve them diligently and selflessly", Ramaphosa said.
"Lies had became part of the narrative of her life".
"The battle for our freedom wasn't some polite picnic to which you came armed with your best behaviour."As the event drew to a close, a sombre mood returned to the stadium.The heavens opened, and a thunderous downpour drenched the mourners.Thousands who sang and cheered as the funeral procession made its way out of the stadium followed it through the streets of Soweto, with some crying as they escorted their beloved "mother of the nation" to her final resting place. She was just an ordinary woman, one of us, but dared to fight for what is right", Zondwa said".
She also questioned why men in the struggle weren't subjected to the same scrutiny, and said, "double standards obscure the vast efforts of women" in the struggle.
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