S.Africa heaps praise on heroine Winnie Mandela | Daily News

S.Africa heaps praise on heroine Winnie Mandela

A newspaper seller holds up an edition featuring a story on the death of South African  anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, in Johannesburg on Tuesday.- AFP
A newspaper seller holds up an edition featuring a story on the death of South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, in Johannesburg on Tuesday.- AFP

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa on Tuesday paid emotional tributes to Winnie Mandela, who died aged 81, as politicians hailed her as an inspirational anti-apartheid campaigner and defended her often controversial record.

The former wife of Nelson Mandela died in a Johannesburg hospital on Monday, mourned by many who praised her as one of the most charismatic and energetic activists who fought white-minority rule.

Her convictions for kidnapping and fraud, and her reputation for overseeing brutal gang violence in black townships, were largely brushed aside by eulogies of her bravery, independence and integrity.

President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed a memorial service on April 11 and an official funeral on April 14 “in honour of a patriot and citizen who served our nation and humanity at large with distinction during our liberation struggle.”

He said the funeral would include military ceremonial honours and he ordered national flags to be flown at half-mast during a period of official mourning until after her burial.

Zweli Mkhize, a senior minister in the African National Congress (ANC) party government, said Winnie Mandela's death marked “the end of an era” as she was a leading stalwart from the darkest days of the anti-apartheid campaign. The outspoken leader of the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party Julius Malema, who became a confidant of Winnie Mandela in recent years, was also among mourners at her modest two-storey red brick home on Tuesday.

“Because (she) was living among her people, and never betrayed her people, they gave her the title of the ‘Mother of the nation,'” he said.

“We are here to celebrate the life of a person who has never looked down on black people and the poor masses.””- AFP


 

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