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prensaestatal.com Abril 24, 2018


Winnie Mandela's funeral: All you need to know

11 Abril 2018, 03:30 | Crisanna Felipe

RAJESH JANTILAL Getty Images South Africans gather to pay respect to Mam' Winnie during a candle vigil in Durban

RAJESH JANTILAL  Getty Images                       South Africans gather to pay respect to Mam' Winnie during a candle vigil in Durban

At first I opted for a succinct tweet and described her as a courageous woman who married a freedom fighter, adding that she used...

Winnie Shattered by Xenophobic Attacks - this was a 2015 banner headline in a South African publication, The Star.

Harshness with which she has been described in death has forced her supporters to raise their voices in praise to tilt the narrative in the other direction, instead of inspiring sober reflection on the choices Madikizela-Mandela made-and what they mean for South Africa now.

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. Her power-salute thrown defiantly in the air became the symbol of that defiance, not only of the African, but of that species of the Black woman - mother, lover, wife, and image of the goddess of the land.

Madikizela-Mandela died last week Monday at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. "She lived for a mission‚ to fulfil her vision with a consciousness of truth and justice".

With her passing, various South African figures insisted that she be remembered as a monumental female role model. There was very high infant mortality among blacks - indicative of their lack of access. Of course, Momberg has such a risky tongue that she can not get bail of any quantum.

Winnie was said to be a vivacious and charismatic lady.

In defying all the odds, Mama Winnie seemed to have been driven by a singular sense of objective, reminiscent of what Aime Cesaire, the spokesman of Negritude, has captured in one of his poems in "Notebook of a return to the native land", where he declares: "Grant me the savage faith of a sorcerer". Her divorce from Nelson Mandela was taking its toll. They were never stopped by anything.

It was the happiest they would ever be together as man and wife, with two daughters - Zenani and Zindziswa - coming along in quick succession. Winnie, a lifelong rebel, ignored such law, and proudly quoted Nelson. Instead of moving to affluent suburbs where she could have lived in more comfort, she chose to remain with her people in Soweto until the last day of her life.

The punishment she suffered took a brutal toll physically and psychologically.

For the 27 years of Mandela's imprisonment it was Winnie who brought information about a changing world to him. "Whenever her name was mentioned in security circles", came that rueful assassin and former commander of the Vlakpaas counterinsurgency unit, Eugene de Kock, "a shudder went through the ranks". But then, she was aware of Mandela's obsession with the struggle before marrying him, knowing quite well that his first marriage crashed because of the struggle. She was banned from using the trains.

This was also the period when the National Party (NP) lost its own enforced control over blacks, partially because the youth activists of the 1980s aimed, as political strategy, to make the powerful apartheid government structures impotent under the rubric of making the country "ungovernable".

It was not until 1984 that Winnie was allowed a face to face visit with Madiba in prison after 22 years: such was the wickedness of the oppressors.

Two warriors. Mama Winnie and Mama Coretta Scott King. How many women in her shoes could have been more rational in thoughts and acts? "The nation will cry, the nation will reflect deeply, and the nation will say 'how do we move forward?' in terms of who we are, particularly around the issues of the value of one-another, the respect for one-another, and inter-racial harmony and equality".



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