Thousands of people gathered in South Africa for the funeral of the anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The mourners crowded into a scene at Soweto, near Johannesburg, where the campaigner was given a high-level send-off before her burial in Johannesburg.
Her casket was draped in the flag, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy.
The former wife of Nelson Mandela expired earlier this month at the age of 81.
A controversial figure, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was lauded for her role in the anti-apartheid battle.
However she was later shunned by the political elite for endorsing punishment killings for government informers.
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In the funeral, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini berated the “extreme cruelty” of those she stated had contributed smear campaigns against her mum and isolated her – only to clear her name after her death.
“It is indeed disappointing to see how they withheld their voice through my mother’s life, knowing quite well what they’d have meant to her. Only they know why they opted to share the fact with the world after she left,” Mrs Mandela-Dlamini said.
Mr Ramaphosa apologised for just belatedly recognising Mrs Madikizela-Mandela’s donation
President Ramaphosa explained Mrs Madikizela-Mandela as a symbol of resistance who laid bare the edifice of patriarchy. He apologised for just belatedly recognising her participation.
“I’m sorry, Mama, your organisation delayed in according to its honor, to this time and time. As president, I’ll propose that we award one of the maximum order of our motion, you richly deserve to be granted”, Mr Ramaphosa said.
There were loud cheers when the radical Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.
They had been married for a total of 38 years but for almost 3 years of that time, they had been separated by Mr Mandela’s long imprisonment.
She too was jailed for her role in opposing white minority rule.
To her supporters, she became known affectionately as “Mother of the Nation”.
But Mrs Madikizela-Mandela also found herself mired in scandal for decades.
She had been accused of running a virtual reign of terror in parts of Soweto by additional members of the ANC in the late 1980s, and in 2003 she had been convicted of fraud.
Orlando Stadium reverberated as thousands sang liberation songs, paying tribute to the freedom fighter known to many just as Mama Winnie.
Supporters of various political parties who are often at odds with every put their differences aside to pay tribute to the anti-apartheid activist.
Throughout the dark days of apartheid, Orlando Stadium in Soweto was constantly often related to politicians delivering fiery speeches – and now was no different.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s death managed to combine different political parties who are often at odds with each other.
Many agreed to put their differences aside to provide her send-off she deserved.
A reassessment of her contribution to South Africa’s apartheid struggle was playing in local press.
While once she was shunned by South Africa’s political elite, including her very own party the ANC, in passing she was almost universally lauded.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela :
1936: Born in Cape Province
1969: Jailed for 18 weeks for anti-apartheid activities
1976: Banished to rural place by apartheid authorities
1996: Divorced from Nelson Mandela