Another heavy blow has struck South Africa as Winnie Madikizela–Mandela dies. The former wife of the late President Nelson Mandela died April 2, 2018 after ailing for a long time. The cause of the death, according to family spokesman Victor Dlamini, was an infection that had affected her kidneys. She was 81 years old. Her memorial service was held 9 days after her demise at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, South Africa.
Just the name Winnie Mandela is enough to remind the world of the liberation struggle that the South Africans have passed through to be where they are. No wonder, apart from those of her grannies, all tributes about her at the memorial service focused more on her struggles for political freedom than anything else.
Winnie was also a pioneer in the fight for women’s rights and many speakers mentioned that in their tributes. But on the whole, she was the mother of all South Africans and she earned the tag ‘Mama Winnie’ or simply ‘Mam’Winnie’.
The event at Orlando Stadium was attended by the country’s deputy president David Maduza who eulogized the late Winnie as a person whose ‘only preoccupation was to serve humanity in totality’. He has also gone on record to have said that Mama Winnie ‘remained an Epitome of black excellence’.
The funeral is earmarked for Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Fourways Memorial Park cemetery and is to be attended by family members only and high-profile dignitaries. However, thanks to technology, many in South Africa and abroad will watch the whole procession on TV.