South Africans say goodbye to Winnie Mandela after days of mourning

Mourners in Soweto at the memorial service for Winnie Mandela

Often called the "Mother of the Nation" and "Mama Winnie", Madikizela-Mandela fought to keep South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle in the global spotlight while her husband, Nelson Mandela, was imprisoned.

The EFF leader, who once described Madikizela-Mandela as the "brick the builders rejected", berated the liberation movement for not allowing the struggle hero to speak when then president of the ANC youth league, Peter Mokaba, died.

"I'm sorry Mama that your organisation delayed in according you its honour", Ramaphosa said. "Just as Mam' (mother) Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honor her memory by uniting in common objective", said Ramaphosa. She understood that her suffering was not in vein and that's the legacy of a great leader who we know as the Mother of the Nation adds Ramaphosa.

Madikizela-Mandela's coffin left Orlando Stadium accompanied by a military parade for Fourways Memorial Park where she was due to be buried in a private ceremony next to her great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela. As she said in her lifetime, 'I am the product of the masses of my country and the product of my enemy'.

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist from her volition, was born on September 26, 1936 in Bizana in the Transkei (Eastern Cape) and died on April 2 aged 81.

"She represents a fighting spirit because even though she lived through the apartheid era, she never gave up", 20-year old college student, Gift Mokale said.

The couple ended the 38 years of marriage in 1996 after which she adopted the surname "Madikizela-Mandela".

"You taught young women across the nation that they are just as capable, if not more capable, of standing shoulder to shoulder with men and being totally unapologetic about it", Mabuza said.

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From the very start of the official programme, some of the people who filled the 40 000 capacity stadium made their views known - booing former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma when their presence was announced at the funeral. "She never stopped serving", he said.

"For those who have not had the time or the courage to go beyond the quick headlines or the rushed profiles, I urge you to search the archives so that you may fully appreciate who my mother really was, and why her life and story matters so much", she told a packed football stadium in Soweto, not far from her Madikizela-Mandela lived. She also faced heavy criticism for her infidelity while married to former President Nelson Mandela, which her daughter said would have been ignored were she a man. When we lost our loved ones, when people were in pain, overcome with anger, prone to violence, she came to touch our wounds. Madikizela-Mandela denied knowledge of nearly any killings.

Ramaphosa, who had been promised to be taken to Marikana by Madikizela-Mandela to formally apologise to the widows of the 34 miners who were killed, said that although she passed on before it could happen, he would honour her wishes. She believed it was her calling to defend and protect both from the constant assaults by the Apartheid State. Yet, through everything, she endured.

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political career after the first free elections in 1994. The same people who sold you out?

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After family rituals in the morning Madikizela Mandela's body was taken to the stadium draped in the national flag.

The funeral procession leaves the Orlando Stadium.

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