"RIP Big Mummy"

“The life of Mama Winnie gives full expression to our rallying cry: Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo.”-Ramaphosa
"…spirit of our ancestors" - Mabuza

The family of the late stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have confirmed that a guard of honour will be held today when her body is transported from the Kupane Funeral Parlour to her home in Orlando West. The country is observing 10 days of mourning leading up to the late freedom fighter's funeral tomorrow at Orlando Stadium. Her family has invited the public to join the guard of honour this afternoon. Mama Winnie’s remains are expected to depart from the funeral parlour at 2 o'clock.

In a statement, the family said: “It [procession] will start at Sofasonke Street from the first big circle and turn right and continue along Sofasonke Street straight across the bridge. From there it will cross Klipspruit Road, which becomes Khumalo Street. It will then turn left into Mothipa Street before finally turning left into Maseli Street towards Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s Residence.

Final resting place for Mama Winnie
The Mother of the Nation will be buried at her final resting place tomorrow in the tranquil and exclusive Fourways Memorial Park in Johannesburg. Ahead of the burial, Mama Winnie’s funeral will be a special official funeral in line with the provincial official funeral policy set to have elements of military and ceremonial honours starting from 9am. The struggle icon’s funeral follows a series of memorial services across the country this week which includes two that were held in the small and dusty town of Brandfort where she was banished to in 1977....Thank you Big Mommy... - Great grandchildren

Speaking at the official memorial service at Orlando Stadium, in Soweto, her great grandchildren described Mama Winnie as the kindest, happiest, smartest, most inspiring, fashionable and loving person. “Big Mommy, I will always miss you and love you so much. Whether you are in heaven or on earth. Without you out lives would have been incomplete. Thank you Big Mommy,” said one of the great grandchildren of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

ANC honour one of their own.
Before the official memorial service, the African National Congress held a memorial service in Brandfort where the party’s National Chairperson, Gwede Mantashe was addressing the mourners. Mantashe said Mama Winnie had done everything that a human being should do and defied all odds in her life. “She defied all odds by becoming the first black medical social worker and that is the first defiance of the odds,” said Mantashe.

At the same time, the Premier of the Free State and ANCWL Deputy President Sisi Ntombela, used Madikizela-Mandela memorial service to urge women to imitate the late Mother of the Nation’s morals and fearlessness. “Mama Winnie is probably the person that inspired me to be an active citizen. Back then I did not know that our work was aligned to the ANC, I was purely focussed on being active in my community, Now I want to urge all women to start imitating this woman and change their communities,” said Ntombela.

Life at house 802, Brandfort.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, wife of imprisoned ANC leader, Nelson Mandela, was banished to the dusty Afrikaner dominated town of Brandfort where she was unceremoniously dumped at house 802 with her youngest daughter, Zinzi. There was no running water or electricity and the house had no floors or ceilings. The people spoke mainly Sotho, Tswana or Afrikaans and hardly any Xhosa, which was Winnie's home language.

In an interview while she was still living in Brandfort, Winnie Mandela described how difficult it was being married to a man who was declared a terrorist by the apartheid government. “When I met with him he (Nelson Mandela) was already a prisoner - in fact we met during his treason trial and he had to get permission to get married because he was not only a prisoner, he was burned and the trial was on in Pretoria at that time,” said Mama Winnie with a sort voice.

According to Madikizela-Mandela, the father of her children was given only four days to go to Transkei to get married to the woman he loved and hoped for a better life. For more on this interview, visit www.dumelangnews.co.za

Brandfort locals express undying love Mama Winnie
Dumelang News spoke to local community members of Brandfort ahead of the official funeral of the liberation icon. Mosokoli Sani said although the apartheid regime was so painful for many people in the country, it presented a blessing for the small town. “The apartheid government did everything in its power to reduce black people to nothing in this country but fortunately life had given us one of the country’s strongest icons in Mama Winnie Mandela…,” said Sani.

Another resident, Linah Matlabe, said she remembers the day Winnie arrived in the generally peaceful town of Brandford and changed it into one of the apartheid authorities’ most monitored camp. “I never met her or spoke to her because I was afraid of what might happen to my family if police saw me talking to her but I use to see her from a distance almost every day,” she said.

Matati Makhetha said he was only 16 years old when Mama Winnie was brought to the town and encouraged them to go to school and study hard. “She once met us on the street from school and told us of the importance of education. She said one day we will have to lead the country and we would need education to do that,” said Makhetha. Macholo Moino said Winnie opened many people’s eyes on what was happening in the country at the time.

“She fought with everything she had until she won. Not many people would have done what she did during those days and I still wish there could be more like her in the country,” said Moino.

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