Winnie Mandela will receive state funeral, South African president says

Winnie Mandela will receive state funeral, South African president says

The governor noted that Winnie, a former wife of the late President Nelson Mandela, exhibited uncommon strength of character by providing leadership for a people under economic and political bondage. The MDC lawmaker described Madikizela-Mandela as an African stalwart who fought for women's rights across the continent.

Madikizela-Mandela was known as the "Mother of the Nation" because of her struggle against white-minority rule in South Africa.

South Africa's state broadcaster says Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, prominent anti-apartheid activist and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, has died.

But she would also become engulfed in criminal convictions and scandals. She faced these allegations again during the 1997 hearings before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel that investigated apartheid-era crimes.

A statue and a public holiday would be the best way to celebrate the former First Lady of South Africa. In an infamous 1986 speech she threatened "no more peaceful protests".

"We take this moment to send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to both the Madikizela and Mandela families as we mourn the mother of the ANCWL who led the ANCWL during the most hard times of our country and ANC most trying times of our country when all the odds were against her‚" the league said.

"Mandela let us down", she said.

Buthelezi said her death was a "terrible loss", not just for her family, but for the entire country.

To me she was an inspiration. "I join the world in offering my honest condolences to her two daughters, Zenani and Zindziswa Mandela, her relatives, friends, and the people of South Africa".

"Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists".

In her last interview, given last month and rebroadcast on Monday afternoon by state broadcasters, Madikizela-Mandela spoke of how she had always put the collective good of the ANC before her individual wellbeing.

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According to a family spokesperson, she will be laid to rest on April 14 in Gauteng Province.

Gallo Images Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with her daughter, Zindzi Mandela and son, the late Makgatho Mandela after visiting Nelson Mandela Victor Verster prison in Paarl in 1990. She had been hospitalised at the weekend.

The funeral will be on 14 April, with an official memorial service three days earlier.

Winnie has been called many things - a populist, a revolutionary, an enigma, an unguided missile, a leader, a militant, a hero and a mother.

"She was in high spirits and was talking passionately". She initially gave me her time because my husband spent 18 years on Robben Island. Madikizela-Mandela steadfastly denied any knowledge of any killings, leading the judge in that case to brand her "an unblushing liar".

The song was one of several reggae songs released at a time when global pressure on the renegade South African administration intensified to end Apartheid and free Nelson Mandela who had been imprisoned since 1963.

In 1977, she was banished to a remote town, Brandfort, where neighbors were forbidden to speak to her. She lives and the struggle continues until total victory.

In 1986, she was widely linked to "necklacing", when suspected traitors were burnt alive by a petrol-soaked auto tyre being put over their head and set alight. "Period", said her one-time lawyer Dikgang Moseneke. Yet I remember the great hospitality she and Madiba extended to me when I used to visit their home in Vilakazi Street, Orlando. But within a couple of years the marriage had collapsed amid talk of Winnie's adultery.

Around this time Madikizela-Mandela made what became a famous speech saying, "We have no guns - we have only stones, boxes of matches and petrol".

It was a process which, she said, "taught me how to hate". "And he shed tears to say that we have made a decision to separate". Still, she faced vitriolic criticism when news of her love interests was leaked by spies.

Madikizela-Mandela, once famously pictured walking hand-in-hand with her then-husband as he left prison, left a complicated legacy and was at times critical of her ex-husband. And yet she was ever so committed to end the system even in the midst of the bitter controversy around the disappearance of one of the youths who belonged to the Mandela Football Club that Winnie controlled.