Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was laid to rest yesterday at Fourways Memorial Park, next to two of her great-grandchildren.
The funeral service was held at Orlando Stadium, about a kilometre away from her house in Soweto.
The mourners were addressed by Madikizela-Mandela’s daughters Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and Zindzi Mandela, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. Former presidents Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe were also in attendance.
Thousands of ordinary citizens came from far and wide to pay their final respects.
Among them was 78-year-old Lilly Tsamai from Mahikeng, North West, who said she met Madikizela-Mandela at Park Lane Clinic in Johannesburg in the 1990s.
“She smiled when I shook her hand. I had to come and pay my last respects. Winnie was everything to me. She and her ex-husband did a lot for us.”
George Lefading (36) from Soweto, Gauteng, said although he had never met Madikizela-Mandela, he felt obliged to go to her funeral.
“She contributed to the development of the people in this country. It is up to us to take over and do what she fought for.”
Tsakane Shibambo (38) said he and 50 other people were bussed in from Mahwelereng, Limpopo. They left Mahwelereng on Friday night and arrived in Soweto at 2.30am yesterday. He said: “We loved the Mother of the Nation. She was the most beautiful woman in the world.” – Tebogo Letsie, Rosetta Msimango, Mpumelelo Buthelezi and Msindisi Fengu
Number One conveys condolences: President Cyril Ramaphosa (left) was among the politicians who went to pay their final respects. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Sombre moment: Pallbearers carry Madikizela-Mandela’s coffin into Orlando Stadium, Soweto Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Daughters' farewell: Zindzi Mandela and Zenane Mandela-Dlamini speak at their mother’s funeral. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Joyful noise: A member of the ANC Women’s League dances at the struggle stalwart’s funeral. Picture: Rosetta Msimango
A leader like no other: A member of the ANC Women’s League celebrates the struggle icon’s life outside Orlando Stadium. Picture: Mpumelelo Buthelezi
Men of a bygone era: Former presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki with their wives Bongi Ngema-Zuma and Zanele Mbeki. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Salute: Military personnel wheel Madikizela-Mandela’s coffin. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
They came from abroad: British model and actress Naomi Campbell delivers a speech at the funeral. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Come rain or shine: Bad weather did not deter the mourners. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Foes suspended rivalry: EFF and ANC supporters put aside their differences to mourn the death of the Mother of the Nation. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
No holds barred: EFF leader Julius Malema makes scathing remarks about those he claims disowned the anti-apartheid activist. Picture: Tebogo Letsie