A voice for the voiceless

Saturday, April 14, 2018

A true activist, who used her voice to speak for the voiceless. This is how Mme Mokgobo remembers her close friend Mama Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela.

Paying tribute to her friend of 60 years, in front of thousands of mourners at the struggle icon's official funeral on Saturday, Mokgobo reminisced about how she and Madikizela-Mandela kept their friendship alive even when Madikizela-Mandela was banished to Brandfort.

“We would talk over the phone, and she would wait for my call. She was lonely in Brandfort, but it wasn’t long before she started doing social work. You were a true activist,” an emotional Mokgobo said.

Madikizela-Mandela was always ready to do everything in her power to help others. “Even when we were working together, Winnie was there to help me. You remain an inspiration to many service professionals.”

She said Madikizela-Mandela loved her work, but her family was important above all.

Mourners sang and danced as they bid their final farewell to the struggle stalwart at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Mourners celebrated her life through anti-apartheid songs. South African artists including Ntokozo Mbambo, Zonke and Thandiswa Mazwai were among those who paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela during their performances.

Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral is a Special Official Funeral Category 1 in line with the Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy. In this regard, the funeral has elements of both military and ceremonial honours. 

Mama Winnie’s life was a remarkable one

Madikizela-Mandela’s daughters Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and Zindzi Mandela thanked the mourners who had come to their mother’s house to pay their respects during the ten days of mourning.

Mandela-Dlamini said her mother’s life was a remarkable one and urged South Africans to go to the archives to fully appreciate who Mama Winnie was, and why her story matters so much.

“Her book ‘491 days’ details the way apartheid police treated her. She fought for her beloved country. Zindzi and I are lucky to call Mama and Nelson Mandela our parents,” an emotional Zenani said.

Speaking on behalf of the Abathembu Royal House, Kumkani Azenathi said Madikizela-Mandela’s resilience proved to many that faith without action is dead.

Madikizela-Mandela’s sister, Zukiswa Madikizela described her sister as a courageous, fearless and loving person.

Voice of the people’s war against apartheid

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the passing of Madikizela-Mandela has left the country with mixed emotions.

Madikizela-Mandela had an authentic voice in the people’s war against apartheid.

“The apartheid regime could not crush her, death has not defeated her. Mama Winnie has not die, she has multiplied,” Premier Makhura said. – SAnews.gov.za

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