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Ramaphosa said, "We must continue to touch Mama's wounds, acknowledge her huge pain and torment, and pass on the stories of her suffering to future generations so that it may always be known that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a giant, a pathfinder, a soldier, a healer, a champion of people's struggles and forever the Mother of the Nation". She was one of you.

The official funeral service for the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela was taking place on Saturday morning in Soweto - a Johannesburg township at the forefront of the battle against apartheid where she lived.

"You said we must go back to the ANC".

"Mama, some of those who sold you out to the regime are here".

Earlier, mourners sang and cheered as Madikizela-Mandela's body was brought into the 40,000-seat Orlando stadium, filled to capacity for the funeral service.

He said the wall is about a remarkable woman, strong women and the mother of the nation.

Ms Madikizela-Mandela's legacy, however, was later tarnished. He said he would request the ANC to confer its highest honour on her. But because she had such a big heart, my mother could also love the community where she lived, no matter where that was.

Ramaphosa said now was the time to heal the wounds of the past. Madikizela-Mandela denied knowledge of nearly any killings. "Loudly and without apology, she spoke truth to power", he said.

"Proud, defiant, articulate, she subjected the lie of apartheid, " President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his ignorance".

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Ramaphosa promised on Saturday that he would visit Marikana in North West to honour one of Madikizela-Mandela's wishes.

She was arrested for the first time while protesting the pass system that restricted movements of black people in white-designated areas.

"Mama, you are gone now".

As leaders from across the globe paid glowing tribute to Winnie Mandela, the family sought to come clean, accusing the government and the media of being hypocritical in their praises for the fallen hero.


She saw for herself the deliberate intent of the apartheid rulers to impoverish the people of this country. She was a witness to the truths and horrors of our nation, not only because of her own hardships but because of her courage. "When it was safe to do so, the men took over again and the women were relegated to a supporting role", Ramaphosa said.

"I appreciate many things about her. She never stopped serving", he said. Mam' Winnie was universal and timeless.

"The pain inflicted on her lives forever even after her death".

It shocked South Africans to learn of the apartheid government's sophisticated misinformation and propaganda operations, known as Stratcom. She kept my father's memory in the people's hearts. Let us honour her memory by pledging here that we will dedicate all our resources, all our efforts, all our energy to the empowerment of the poor and vulnerable. "Just as Mam' (mother) Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honor her memory by uniting in common goal", said Ramaphosa. Unable to neutralize her as the voice for Nelson Mandela while he was imprisoned, they sought to drive a wedge between them, chiefly through revealing her infidelities and humiliating both of them.

Winnie Mandela, who died in Johannesburg aged 81 on April 2 after a long illness, has been celebrated for helping keep Nelson Mandela's dream of a non-racial South Africa alive while he was behind bars for 27 years.