World ambassadors pay tribute to Mama Winnie

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Mama Winnie was not only a South African icon but an international one, who was well known around the world because of  her indomitable fighting spirit.

This is how a delegation of ambassadors remembered the late struggle stalwart, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela, as they paid tribute to her.

About 70 ambassadors from all over the world visited Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto, on Tuesday, to pay their respects and also extend condolences from their respective countries.

Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa, who came in his capacity as the Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Bene M’Poko, said Mama Winnie was very unique in that from a very young age, she sacrificed everything to fight a war, one that was extremely difficult.

“Her life needs to be celebrated because she won the battle. Today South Africa is free because she contributed a lot among other leaders of the world and Africa. We are here to celebrate that victory. Her life needs to be celebrated.

“The image she leaves with us is that of a defiant fist and the beautiful smile she carried during the struggle period. I am hoping as an African that one day, the continent will build a monument of what Mama Winnie Mandela depicted. It must stay there for future generations to see what she stood for [and] what she accomplished,” Ambassador M’Poko said.

Speaking on behalf of women ambassadors, Senegalese Ambassador to South Africa, Safiatou Ndiaye, said Madikizela-Mandela was a leader for all women on the continent and the world.

“Today, we are paying tribute to her and great respect for her. She showed us the life, and we will follow her spirit. We want to send our sincere condolences to the whole family and to her daughters, who are also ambassadors,” Ambassador Ndiaye said.

Madikizela-Mandela passed away on Monday, 2 April at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, after a long illness that saw her being in and out of hospital since the start of the year.

The memorial service honouring her life and times will take place at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday and the funeral service will be held at the same venue on Saturday. –

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