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'Anti-apartheid' church to hold memorial service for Winnie Mandela

'Anti-apartheid' church to hold memorial service for Winnie Mandelaā€¯

A memorial service for Mandela will be held 11 April and an "official national" funeral will be 14 April, Ramaphosa said.

"Even at the darkest moments of our struggle for liberation, Mam' Winnie was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free", Ramaphosa said in a statement.

The woman many South Africans have described as the "Mother of the Nation" and a champion of the black majority, died "surrounded by her family and loved ones", according to a statement released by Madikizela-Mandela's family.

"We here in Jamaica supported her in that struggle as she maintained the legacy of her then husband Nelson Mandela while he was locked away for 27 years", the Prime Minister said.

However, Madikizela-Mandela's political activism was marred by her conviction in 1991 for kidnapping and assault, for which she was fined.

At the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she was repeatedly questioned by archbishop Desmond Tutu and publicly shamed over her links to gang violence.

A statue and a public holiday would be the best way to celebrate the former First Lady of South Africa. They understood that like many other leaders and members of the African National Congress (ANC) party, Madikizela-Mandela was in the hard position of having to lead a revolution while dealing with intense personal trauma.

Dressed in full ANC colours of yellow, black and green, she asked Ramaphosa, who is known for his morning runs, "Why don't you get exhausted?"

Machel said Madikizela-Mandela sacrificed a lot and fought endlessly for the protection of people's rights.

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The People's National Party hailed Mandela as an outstanding figure in the fight against apartheid.

Buthelezi said her death was a "terrible loss", not just for her family, but for the entire country.

She "was no angel and was punished for her mistakes", it concluded.

Since the announcement of her death yesterday, there have been reactions, not only from South Africa but the world over.

Glamorous and tough, she played a high-profile role in the battle to end repressive white-minority rule.

She had been married only a few years when her husband was sentenced to life in prison.

Madikizela-Mandela's house in Soweto has been visited by mourners since she died on Monday at age 81. She had attended Easter services in Soweto over the long weekend. Most damning, they will say she was a convicted kidnapper, a corrupt politician and an adulterous, violent woman.

"I feel privileged to have known the late great Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and to have been close to the family", the veteran IFP leader wrote on his party's website on Tuesday. Instead of collapsing, as others might have, the woman who was the first black medical social worker in the country became a powerful spokesperson for racial justice.

Attractive, articulate, clever and committed, the 23-year-old Winnie caught the eye of Mandela, many years her senior, at a Soweto bus stop in 1957.

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The song was one of several reggae songs released at a time when worldwide pressure on the renegade South African administration intensified to end Apartheid and free Nelson Mandela who had been imprisoned since 1963.

The apartheid regime may have succeeded in silencing her in Brandfort, but it never succeeded in breaking her spirit or extinguishing her flame.

"The nation was ill-prepared for her departure and people are grieving very deeply".

"I think she's a hero of the struggle".

When Winnie moved back to Joburg in 1986 she was more defiant than before.

Instead, she endorsed the "necklacing" method of killing suspected informers and police with fuel-doused tires put around the neck and set alight.

"I would be extremely naive if I suggested to you that South Africa today is what we dreamed of when we gave up our lives ..." The other, "Rise Up" celebrated Nelson Mandela's presidency. "I am not the sort of person to carry lovely flowers and be an ornament to everyone", she said. "And he shed tears to say that 'we have made a decision to separate". Despite it all she never lost her endless compassion.

"Winnie Mandela was supposed to be president of South Africa", EFF leader Julius Malema told the crowd.

Her death came as a shock.

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