Thousands Attend Winnie Mandela's Memorial Service in South Africa

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Meanwhile, the official memorial service for the late Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela was held yesterday at the Orlando Stadium, whereas the funeral service will also be held at the same venue on April 14, and burial will take place at the Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery, according to reports from South Africa.

Alexandrians join this pilgrimage-like process of day and night vigils at her iconic home in Orlando West where, in the absence of her then incarcerated former husband and late former President Nelson Mandela, and with equally revered neighbouring Archbishop Desmond Tutu's family, lead and were persecuted for their role in the political and spiritual struggle for liberation.

Machel spoke after consoling an emotional Ndileka Mandela who struggled through her speech.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, anti-Apartheid activist, dies At 81.

Mourners, many clad in the green and yellow colours of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), danced and sang in a soccer stadium under gray skies. He said, "We need to draw from the fearlessness that Mama Winnie had".

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She died after a lengthy illness.

LINA MTEWA: I am not actually a South African, so I don't really know much about this country's history or what she did.

"For many years, she bore the brunt of senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism", he said. She could have laid back ... but she never stopped fighting. Ramaphosa described her as "a voice of defiance and resistance" who "was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free".

He said Madikizela-Mandela was the embodiment of the saying, "behind every great man there is an even greater woman". The first performances were by afro-soul singer Brenda Mtambo and the Grammy award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir, which kept the crowd on their feet.

But her reputation came under damaging scrutiny in the twilight years of apartheid rule.

In 1990 the world watched when Nelson Mandela finally walked free from prison - hand-in-hand with Winnie.

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