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South Africa's anti-apartheid heroine Winnie Mandela laid to rest
16 April 2018, 11:04 | Anna Jefferson
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Leader of South Africa's leftist party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, has inspired a Twitter hashtag #JuliusMalemaChallenge following his tribute at the funeral of Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela. Geingob said they came to mourn and to celebrate a life of a daughter of the African soil, who did not choose to be larger than life, but through her selfless actions, became a towering figure in the milieu of the liberation struggle.
"Together with her late husband, Nelson Mandela, Winnie epitomised remarkable sacrifices for the freedom of all of us against the tyranny of apartheid".
"Her burning flame of passion shall continue to illuminate our lives, as we continue our struggle into its second phase -that of economic emancipation", he said. "I am, therefore, inviting my sisters to Namibia to receive this honour so that Namibia can pay a befitting honour on her", he said. Yet, through everything, she endured.
The labour leader urged trade unionists especially female unionists in Africa to "learn from the leadership example of Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela", adding that as a stateswoman, "she was labour friendly, a working class stalwart who favoured minimum wage and decent work for the workers".
Mama Winnie will be buried at Fourways Memorial Park.
A close friend, Mrs Mokgobo, spoke about how Mama Winnie had impacted her life and those of black social workers in the country.
"Equally, big Mama, some of those who sold you [out] to the regime are here and are crying louder than all of us who stood by you", said Malema.He mentioned the United Democratic Front distancing itself from Madikizela-Mandela over the killing of young Stompie Seipei, the ANC Women's League national executive committee members who resigned en-masse after the struggle hero was convicted of fraud and theft, saying that they claimed they could not be led by a criminal.
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. "She represents a fighting spirit because, even though she lived through the apartheid era, she never gave up", said 20-year old college student Gift Mokale. She died in Johannesburg two weeks ago after a long illness.
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