Speaker after speaker praised her for her courage and determination in the fight against white domination. “Winnie was our elder, and I was only 16 years old”, reminisces a family friend of the late anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She was the one who supported the call for land distribution when it was unfashionable.
He said Madikizela-Mandela should have become South Africa’s president, instead of Jacob Zuma.
By minimizing the torture, solitary confinement, banishment, and habitual harassment Madikizela-Mandela faced during apartheid, some accounts in the local and global press have reduced her to the stereotype of an angry black woman-as if her anger were not justified. Her anger made her impressively defiant, but also a tempestuous liability.
According to her obituary‚ Madikizela-Mandela is survived by her children‚ eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
She said the 81-year-old Madikizela-Mandela was emotional when she saw her on Saturday after attending a Good Friday church service.
At the age of 22, she met and married a young lawyer and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela.
“Your formidable shadow which eclipsed me left me naked and exposed to the bitter world of a young “political widow”. There isn’t any pain I haven’t known”. Largely lost in this haze of popular history was what linked them together. In 1969 she was jailed 13 months IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT! Two trials later, she was finally released. But doing so involved its own internal contradiction because as soon as he was free, her notional political function all but fell away. Many were clad in the black, green and gold of the ruling African National Congress political party, some in T-shirts with an image of Madikizela-Mandela.
The 40‚000-seater stadium‚ which is a stone’s throw from Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto‚ is expected to packed to capacity and several overflow areas have been prepared. The heave of protests which had swollen from when her husband, the much eulogized Nelson Mandela stood trial, and defiantly refused to denounce or reject armed struggle as an alternative to the negotiations for the full rights of Africans in South Africa held under the thrall of settler colonialism and apartheid. He said she continued with the struggle and raised her children on her own when her husband Nelson Mandela was in prison.
You say she was no saint.
Although separated for 27 years while Mandela was in prison, the couple communicated through a series of emotion-filled hand-written letters. “Are we mature enough, capable enough, to sustain the vision of a non-racial democratic South Africa where all South Africans flourish?” Madikizela-Mandela steadfastly denied any knowledge of any killings.
One of them who identified himself as Zazi said his great-grandmother was “the best, a great fighter. we all loved her”. Without a doubt, Winnie was one of the leading figures in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. “Her only preoccupation was to serve humanity in its totality”, Mabuza said as he addressed mourners at the memorial service. What she regrets is the role she played in making violence so prevalent in South Africa.
LET us mourn in peace.