Ramaphosa apologises to Winnie for not getting Isithwalandwe honour

Sunday, 15 Apr, 2018

Your presence means everything to me and my family.

"You wanted us to come back to the ANC - to which ANC?"

Ramaphosa said Madikizela Mandela provided leadership at the most hard time and never demanded a reward.

Mandela, who died in Johannesburg aged 81 on April 2 after a long illness, was celebrated for keeping her husband Nelson Mandela's dream of a non-racial South Africa alive during his 27-year imprisonment. She said the spear has fallen and promised to pick it up as women.

"Mam'Winnie's life was one of service". By this measure, my mother's life was a remarkable one.

He said she personified the true meaning of speaking truth to power and she was the authentic voice of the people's war against apartheid.

The coffin, which was draped in a South African flag, was met by crowds who gathered on the streets ahead of the service to say a final farewell to the late Member of South African Parliament. Loudly and without apology, she spoke truth to power. While the pain she endured during the years could not be forgiven, she did not allow it to break her spirit and humanity. What must we tell them?

And to those who've vilified my mother through books, on social media and speeches, don't for a minute think we've forgotten. "She taught us not to be limited in our thoughts", said Campbell. She said Madkizela Mandela showed them lots of love to them. "In this fight, you were persecuted by the apartheid regime and disowned by your own".

"I'm sorry mama that your organisation delayed you in according you its honour".

"Know that I am here for you". "They are crying the loudest, more than us - who died for you", Malema said, before lambasting those who he believed had wronged the struggle veteran.

The funeral is the highest level that South Africa accords for someone who was not head of state. "She cherished freedom as much as she treasured family". She was not prepared to choose between the two. "She protected both from constant assault from apartheid state". It was the kind of "double-standard" that obscured the contribution of women in South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle.

She struggled with a cough through the first part of her speech, with her daughter Swati Dlamini-Mandela, who also delivered Madikizela-Mandela's obituary, taking over and reading the first few paragraphs in which Mandela expressed her gratitude to the outpouring of commiserations the family received.

She was sacked after allegations of corruption emerged with her name featuring prominently. Her very appearance-regal, confident, and stylish-angered the Apartheid authorities and galvanized the people.

"Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will not betray the trust of her people, we will not squander or steal their resources, and that we will serve them diligently and selflessly", the president said. When we could not be with her, she wrote letters to us. He said her wounds were not completely healed.

Winnie's activism and battle to end apartheid was also mired by controversy, and she was frequently linked to "necklacing" - placing a petrol-soaked vehicle tyre around the necks of traitors, and setting it alight.

"This message must be spread; funerals are about celebrating the lives of the people who have departed". Many sung liberation struggle songs, Xinhua news agency reported. The same people who sold you out? Malema said Madikizela Mandela put the country first above her own personal safety. The two of them were our parents.

I'm deeply grateful to have known and cherished this woman that I called my mother.

"As we bid her farewell, we are forced to admit that too often as she rose, she rose alone". Because she was always so strong. "She guides our nation", said Ramaphosa. She inspires our actions.