Culture shock for Brazilian photographer attending Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial

Former president Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki were booed when programme director Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula acknowledged their presence, seemingly in reaction to Mbeki's interview last week where he said Madikizela-Mandela shouldn't be credited as an individual for her role in the struggle for freedom.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office two months ago, offered an apology for the country's failure to honour Winnie for her contribution to the liberation of the country.

"I'm sorry Mama that your organisation delayed in according you its honour", Ramaphosa said. "We could have told her the praises while she was alive", Zezani said.

Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been buried in Johannesburg following an emotional five-hour funeral attended by tens of thousands of mourners.

Mourners lined the streets of Soweto as the hearse carrying the body of the anti-apartheid icon returned to her home
Mourners lined the streets of Soweto as the hearse carrying the body of the anti-apartheid icon returned to her home

Ramaphosa described her as "an advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalized" and "a voice for the voiceless". "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.

Ramaphosa says that Winnie's life was dedicated to the African people, and revolved around service to her people.

The film was aired on local television channels and in public screenings in part as a response to the unflattering coverage Madikizela-Mandela's legacy received in the immediate aftermath of her death. Ward 29 councillor, Brenda Dummie, said they are grateful that they are the first community to receive the wall of that celebrate the late political stalwart. For those who have not had the time or the courage to go beyond the quick headlines or the rushed profiles, I urge you to search the archives so that you may fully appreciate who my mother really was, and why her life and story matters so much. She was reported dead after in a hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness. Madikizela-Mandela denied any knowledge of any killings.

Her daughter referred to a social media campaign that has swept South Africa since her death - "Winnie has not died, she multiplied" - in which young women post pictures of themselves in doeks, the traditional head scarf that Madikizela-Mandela often wore.


She saw for herself the deliberate intent of the apartheid rulers to impoverish the people of this country.

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who was attending the funeral, said on Friday that Madikizela-Mandela was responsible for making the anti-apartheid movement "a global struggle". Apartheid authorities sought to denigrate her with bitter and twisted lies, but still she rose. Yet, through everything, she endured.

Every generation is gifted one or two people who shine as brightly as the brightest stars.

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political career after the first free elections in 1994.


"Your daughter got married to be on her own but she managed to overcome all the pain and suffering to a point where your name is a legendary status".

Malema, who sat with Madikizela-Mandela's family and other dignitaries, responded to Ramaphosa with a smile.

As soon as speeches drew to a close, stormy clouds formed over the stadium, followed moments after by heavy rains that drenched mourners and the funeral procession as it drove out to a cemetery 40 kilometres away.


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