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Scores of people pays tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandeala
ANC top brass including members of the community signs the book of condolences for the late struggle icon the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Orlando West, Soweto. Pic Dikgari Ramothata

Book of sympathies opened for Mama Winnie


A book of condolences has been opened so people can offer their last respect to Winnie Madikizele-Mandela who died on Monday afternoon.

She was 81.

The book was launched by African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President David Mabuza flanked by  Party’s National Executive Council outside the fundamental entryway at Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Orlando West, Soweto on Thursday.

Mabuza said the book will be accessible to all the provinces to enable South African’s to pay their last respect to the late Mother of the Nation.

As a flurry of activities is expected across all the provinces until Mama Winnie is laid to rest on April 14, it looks like everyone is really getting into the swing of things to celebrate her life.

Mabuza told a throng of people young and old who gathered outside to pay homage to Mama Winnie that her home is for everybody irrespective of political affiliation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that the late Madikizela-Mandela, a recipient of the Order of Luthuli in silver for her excellent contribution to fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa will be honoured with special official Category1.

“Mam Winnie will deserves the highest respect our nation can demonstrate in hounor of a patriot and citizen who served our nation and humanity at large with dinstiction during our liberation struggle and our democratic dispensation,” said Ramaphosa.

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The government will host her memorial service at Orlando Stadium, Soweto, on Wednesday April 11 followed by a funeral service on 14 April 14, at the same venue.

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said it was her wish to be buried in Fourways Cemetery beside her granddaughter Zenani Mandela (13) who was killed in a car crash in 2010.

The accident happened while on their way home from a pre-tournament concert (World Cup) in Soweto, where tens of thousands of people sang and danced with pop stars including Shakira and the Black Eyed Peas.

Mama Winnie met the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist the late Nelson Mandela in 1957.

She was 22 years old and standing at a bus stop in Soweto when Mandela first saw her and charmed her, securing a lunch date the following week.

The couple married in 1958 and had two daughters, Zenani and Zinziwa.

Mandela was arrested and jailed in 1963, and was not released until 1990. The couple separated in 1992. He died on December 6, 2013.

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