President Cyril Ramaphosa says the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela always believed that freedom had to be fought for and achieved.
“She was from the onset part of a determined force of resistance,” he said.
Speaking at a memorial service organised by the Eastern Cape Provincial government, President Ramaphosa said Mama Winnie was a symbol of hope to many.
He said Mama was always on the side of young people.
“Mama Winnie will always have a special place in our hearts,” said President Ramaphosa, adding that she played a significant role in the struggle for freedom.
“She always had the courage to speak her mind,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said the apartheid regime sought to break her spirit by subjecting her to the worst forms of torture.
“She was a true mother of the nation,” he said.
President Ramaphosa told mourners at the memorial service that Mama Winnie responded to the call “Thuma Mina” (send me) – a call made to all South Africans to serve.
“Let us go and finish the work that Mama has started,” President Ramaphosa said.
Madikizela-Mandela passed away on Monday, 2 April, at Netcare Milpark Hospital, in Johannesburg, after a long illness that saw her in and out of hospital since the start of the year.
On Monday, the Nelson Mandela Foundation hosted a memorial service at the Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg.
Madikizela-Mandela was one of the many liberation activists who were arrested and incarcerated at the Constitution Hill prison complex during apartheid.
Members of the public mourning the death of Mama Winnie have been afforded an opportunity to sign the condolence books made available across the country.
The Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) last week announced that the condolence books for the late Mama Winnie have been made available at the following venues: International Ports of Entry (airports), DIRCO Head Office at the OR Tambo Building in Tshwane, Parliament, Tuynhuys, The Union Buildings in Tshwane and at the Department of Arts and Culture.
The memorial services for the late Mama Winnie are being held in all the provinces.
The main memorial service honouring the life and times of Mam’ Winnie will take place at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday and the funeral service will be held at the same venue on Saturday. – SAnews.gov.za