South Africa’s 1st black president’s ex-wife of Late Winnie Mandela will be given a state funeral by the South African government. The anti-apartheid campaigner gave up the ghost on Monday at the age of 81.
“Freedom fighter Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela will be laid to rest on 14 April 2018, during a state funeral,” a government statement read.
Ahead of the funeral for her, an official memorial service of Madikizela-Mandela will be held on 11 April 2018. President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed this on Monday night after visiting the family home of the ex-activist in Orlando, Soweto.
“At a national government level, we have declared that Winnie Mandela will have a national official funeral. We would like to express our gratitude and our thanks to the many across the country and the world who are wishing us well,” said President Ramaphosa.
In a televised tribute, Mr. Ramaphosa tagged Madikizela-Mandela a “champion of justice and equality” whose “dedication to the plight of her people gained her the love and the respect of the nation”.
“For many years‚ she bore the brunt of the senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism and fortitude,” he said. “Despite the hardship, she faced‚ she never doubted that the struggle for freedom and democracy would triumph and succeed.”
“She remained throughout her life a tireless advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalized. She was the voice for the voiceless.”
The late Winnie who got married to Mandela for 38-years gave up the ghost on Monday at the age of 81 after a “long illness.”
Most of Winnie’s marriage to Nelson was spent apart because Nelson was imprisoned for good 27 years. This made her raise their two daughters all by herself and to sustain his political dream under the repressive white-minority regime.
She was convicted of kidnapping and attack over the killing of Stompie Moeketsi, a 14-year-old boy.
She was also found guilty of abducting and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for her participation in the death of 14-year-old township militant Stompie Seipei.