South African Liberation Fighter Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Laid To Rest With Songs, Tears And Cheers

By Robyn Dixon
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Saturday’s funeral for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela ended more than a week of mourning for a woman who was one of the last of a generation of revered anti-apartheid leaders.

Los Angeles Times

South Africans bid farewell to liberation fighter Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Saturday in a stirring funeral service at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, with power salutes, tribute songs, tears and cheers.

The funeral ended more than a week of mourning for Madikizela-Mandela, one of the last of the generation of revered anti-apartheid leaders who won freedom for their people.

The succession of memorials and parades since she died April 2 recalled the outpouring of grief in 2013 after the death of her former husband, Nelson Mandela, who became the face of the South African liberation struggle, partly due to her efforts.

The marathon farewell underscored Madikizela-Mandela’s ability to connect with a young, new generation of black South Africans, demanding radical change to overcome apartheid’s lingering toxic legacy.

Tough, determined, resilient and proud, she withstood imprisonment, solitary confinement, banishment and years of harassment by South African apartheid authorities.

Julius Malema, populist leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela this week by saying: “Such people do not die. They live eternally because their seeds always survive the toughest of conditions.

The seeds of a tree grew, even in concrete. They are indestructible.”

“She was rightly seen as the mother of this nation but Mama Winnie was much more than that. She was a heroine of the whole continent, a courageous symbol of resilience for all of us,” Campbell said at the service Saturday.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa paid tribute to her with the salute, “Long live, Winnie Mandela, long live!”

“She has been our big Mama throughout our life.”

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