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Winnie Mandela memorialized in South Africa

in Africa & the Diaspora/Highlights by

This week, South African freedom fighter and former leader of the African National Congress, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was memorialized in Soweto this week. Now her family prepares for the final burial.


Thousands of mourners gathered to hear a long list of tributes from political leaders to family members at the Orlando stadium this week in a four-hour tribute filled with prayer and song for a woman known as “Mama Winnie.”

On Thursday, in Soweto, members of the women’s African National Congress’ Women’s League held a church service at Mundi Regina church. Throughout the country, multiple tributes occurred through the night. From a women’s only musical tribute to a number of impromptu gatherings to celebrate the life of a woman noted by South African authorities as one of the most dangerous radical activists in the country.

Today, her body was retrieved from the morgue, and a street procession began. Thousands more lined the streets for her send off.

On Saturday, the body of Madikizela-Mandela will be buried in Fourways Memorial Park located in Johannesburg. This is also the resting place of her great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela, 13, tragically killed when hit by a car in 2010.

“I have not tears.”

Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela, a fierce champion of the anti-Apartheid movement worked for decades to dismantle the brutal system of Apartheid, which bolstered white power under a brutal, and often violent regime.

US Congresswoman Maxine Waters spoke on the legacy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela is known for the phrase, “When you strike a woman, you strike a rock,” to emphasize the strength of women in movements. Waters said that, that phrase was critical in women knowing their power. “When she said it helped to energize women around the world.”

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