What Winnie Madikizela-Mandela meant to me

Cheryl Sanders
April 14, 2018

Madikizela-Mandela's casket, draped in the South African flag, was transported from her home to the stadium in the same hearse that had carried the remains of Mandela.

Although Madikizela-Mandela helped usher in a new, more equitable South African political system during her lifetime, she was also entangled in a number of scandals over the years.

The firebrand red berets leader was scathing of ANC leaders who‚ he said‚ that "sold out" Madikizela-Mandela during the transition from apartheid to the democratic government.

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political career after the first free elections in 1994. Mourners booed when the presence of scandal-tainted Zuma was publicly acknowledged.

American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson is expected to attend, as are the presidents of Namibia and the Republic of Congo. "She was a mother, a teacher, and a guardian for the community".

The official funeral service for the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela was taking place on Saturday morning in Soweto, a Johannesburg township at the forefront of the battle against apartheid where she lived.

Born in the poor Eastern Cape province, Madikizela-Mandela's childhood was "a blistering inferno of racial hatred", in the words of her British biographer Emma Gilbey.

Madikizela-Mandela's coffin left Orlando Stadium accompanied by a military parade for Fourways Memorial Park where she was due to be buried in a private ceremony next to her great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela. "Some of those in the women's league that called you a criminal are here‚" Malema said to loud applause.

"In apartheid South Africa, the mixture of patriarchy and racism collectively meant that black ladies confronted monumental obstacles from the cradle to the grave, making her personal achievements all of the extra distinctive", U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres mentioned Friday at a memorial in NY, not mentioning Nelson Mandela in any respect.

In 2003, she was on the opposite side of love, when she was convicted of fraud and theft over a bank loan scam. Her supporters have continued to correct claims that she was responsible for the 1989 death of Stompie Seipei.

The United Nations staged a special memorial sitting at its NY headquarters on Friday to mark her passing. In 1993 she was elected president of African Nationa Congress (ANC).

South Africa's communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane told AFP that Winnie should not only be remembered for "mistakes or the casualties of the struggle". Soweto where she lived has been a buzz with mourners coming from all walks of life to come pay their last respect to the struggle icon.

But she internalized her pain, paid for her mistakes and kept moving forward.

For Mohammed, she was and would remain a "force multiplier".

Other reports by iNewsToday