Brave African soldier - Winnie Madikizela Mandela

He said in honouring Madikizela-Mandela and her commitment to fighting injustice, the government would incapacitate itself to effectively eradicate poverty, reduce unemployment and inequality as well as deal with corruption and state capture. "But she did. She had hope". To many outside of South Africa, she was being remembered primarily as the former wife of South African icon Nelson Mandela - and a puzzling figure who kept becoming embroiled in controversy and scandal.

By minimizing the torture, solitary confinement, banishment, and habitual harassment Madikizela-Mandela faced during apartheid, some accounts in the local and global press have reduced her to the stereotype of an angry black woman-as if her anger were not justified.

Tuesday's events started with the president visiting the Madikizela family in Mbhongweni, 33 km from Mbizana, where he paid his respects.

Chirwa referred to the persistent gender wage inequality and said that unless that was addressed‚ the country was not serious about preserving Madikizela-Mandela's legacy.

When Malema launched the EFF, he described Mama Winnie as the lifetime Commander in Chief of the EFF. I knew this was a crown of thorns for me but I also knew I said, "I Do" for better or worse. "She emerged out of every situation meant to break her even stronger and more powerful‚ more courageous and much more determined‚" he said.

"She was married to the struggle, she never retreated".

He said Madikizela-Mandela had played a significant role through different milestones in the fight against apartheid, working closely with young people from the 1970s until after the first democratic elections when she continued to inspire the militancy of the post-apartheid ANC Youth League.

EFF leader Julius Malema - who sees Madikizela-Mandela as a mentor and will be speaking at a separate memorial for her organized by his own party on Wednesday - has said the EFF was never ashamed of her and that she should have been South Africa's president.

Numerous women also wore traditional, brightly coloured headscarves, known as "doeks", to honour Madikizela-Mandela - who had made them her signature style.

Madiba did not also give honor to a frontline Nigerian musician who spent 15 years and 15 albums singing and performing as a freedom fighter. He told ACNS that he was "enveloped with a sense of deep pain and sorrow" when her heard that Madikizela-Mandela had died.

During her golden years, she stood as a fountain of wisdom to all political leaders and remained anchored in the principles of freedom and equality. For evidence, they will recall the submission of former president Mandela during his divorce trial where he said, "Ever since I came back from prison, not once has the defendant ever entered our bedroom while I was awake".

"She made sure that apartheid was defeated". With the message "She is not dead, she has multiplied", the aim was to counter the unflattering stories that have been told since her death.

And she suffered her own imprisonment as well. She did not serve any other interest; all that she knew was to serve the people of South Africa and that is what she was committed to.

"While reacting to her demise, South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa referred to Winnie as an advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalised" and "a voice for the voiceless".

  • Julie Sanders