Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

South Africa bids farewell to anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

South Africa bids farewell to anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Once a prophet was sent by God to beseech the people to repent and return to the Lord or perish. For she wore the gaping wounds of her people. The same people who sold you out? Not long after, she met African National Congress activist Mandela and the couple married in 1958, forming one of the most storied unions of the century.

Winnie-Madikezela Mandela was South Africa's prophetess. While Mandela was imprisoned at Robben Island, she became his voice, providing regular updates to followers hungry for every detail.

As the world received news of their divorce, public opinion was divided with some noting that while Mandela had forgiven his jailers and embraced reconciliation, he could not pardon his wife for being unfaithful while he was in jail for 27 years.

Zezani was almost born in prison, as Winnie Mandela was arrested close to her birth in 1959 and when she was four her father was sent to prison, where he would stay for the next 27 years. It was Winnie who was fearless enough to say that Mandela sold out.

"She made a choice to raise two families, hers and the beloved country", Mandela-Dlamini said. "He agreed to a bad deal for the blacks".

A controversial figure, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was lauded for her role in the anti-apartheid struggle. In 1969, she was detained for 491 days in solitary confinement.

However, the conviction was later overturned with the court handing her a suspended sentence of three years and six months for fraud.

Even speaking to a friend was illegal.

The official funeral service for the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela was taking place on Saturday morning in Soweto - a Johannesburg township at the forefront of the battle against apartheid where she lived.

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Mr Mandela fired her as one of his deputy ministers and her stints as a politician, a post she held until her death, were lacklustre.

Torture, jail, confinement and house arrest didn't break her down.

Displaced from their homes, as well as, facing detentions, massacres, executions, and political assassinations.

The only true freedom they acquired was the right to vote for a black president.

She remained popular among poor, black South African and the youth and was re-elected to parliament in 2007.

Winnie Mandela spoke against that.

"She felt compelled to join a struggle that was as noble in its objective as perilous in its execution". "For those of you whose hearts are unforgiving, sit down and shut up". During this period of mourning many South Africans have been touching Mam Winnie's wounds.

"We want to let you know that my mother despite all the lies smeared against her was ready to challenge the lies but time did not allow." .

Entire stands were packed with red-shirted activists of the populist leftwing opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, which sees itself as continuing of Madikizela-Mandela's efforts to bring about a radical economic transformation in South Africa.

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