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South Africa celebrates Winnie Mandela at memorial service

11 Avril 2018

Brand said he first encountered Madikizela-Mandela on one of her visits to Robben Island in the 1970s.

"She said, unfortunately, our churches in the location don't cater for people like us".

"[She was] one of the women who groomed us, taught us discipline". She was the best we ever had. May Creator rest her soul in eternal peace.

South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "So, she would always have a blanket covering her".

Would her husband of three decades not recognise his wife who was his eyes and ears outside if she was in a 'not-so-good state of mind?' Was she not wearing his favourite shade of lipstick? The apartheid government exploited the narrative to turn the Black community against Winnie Mandela.

That was the period when 14-year-old James Moeketsi Seipei - nicknamed Stompie, "cigarette butt", for his small size - was clobbered for days in her house, sometimes in her presence.

In 1996, he ended their 38-year marriage, testifying in court that she was having an affair with Dali Mpofu, today a prominent member of Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters.

"She was a very courageous and tough woman. She was pretty much neutralised by this and at the very least discredited", Erasmus revealed.

Late last week Thuso also paid tribute to Ma Winnie with a short performance at a memorial service in Johannesburg.

Trudging through blustery winds, heavy rains and cold weather, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela once braved the elements and strict prison rules so that Nelson Mandela could get a glimpse of one of his grandchildren...

This impression about her at this first meeting was reinforced at later, more frequent and close meetings.

"As a mother I can imagine Winnie Mandela would have made decisions at any time, for what to prioritise; her children, or the children of South Africa".

So‚ I started to study more about her life.

"I'm here to respect her". She made me turn around, and I showed off the clothes.

"As a daughter-in-law‚ you have to‚ most importantly‚ respect protocol".

Kumalo was in a grocery store in 2015 when she saw "this tall, handsome woman".

The charismatic master of ceremonies cried "Long live the fighting spirit of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela", and "Viva Soweto!" to spirited chanting from the crowd.

"While the facts are worth knowing, I want to know why she got up each morning for a nation that still has huge disparities between its people".

"When you reflect on a traumatic experience‚ like I was doing‚ you have to keep some things back to keep yourself sane".

Madikizela-Mandela led an global campaign calling for his release.

"I just dropped everything", he said.

"I said we only talked about clothes, she said, it's fine, there is someone else I have to interview".

South Africa celebrates Winnie Mandela at memorial service