12 April 2018

Africa: Global Community Bids Madikizela-Mandela Farewell

Addis Ababa/Johannesburg — DIPLOMATS and dignitaries from across the world are set to attend the burial of South African struggle-icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Diplomats affiliated to the country, United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Commonwealth will attend the burial.

Ahead of the burial, the Commonwealth, a grouping of mostly former colonies of Britain, said it would continue to champion the values for which Madikizela-Mandela stood for.

"This new chapter (burial) imposes tasks on all of us who have the means to work for meaningful social emancipation of the peoples of the world," it stated.

Earlier this week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed thousands of resident diplomats, dignitaries and political activists at Madikizela-Mandela's birthplace of Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

Ramaphosa said the heroine did not only serve her family during the struggle for liberation, but the entire nation.

"She did not serve her own family, she did not serve any other interest. All she ever knew, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela - she only knew to serve the people of South Africa," Ramaphosa said.

Meanwhile, the South African Police Service (SAPS) warned members of the public not to panic but remain calm when 19 gun salute shots are fired as part of her send-off at the Fourways Memorial Park in Craigavon

"This means that extremely loud bangs will be heard in that vicinity that may have an effect on people. Special care should be given to people suffering ill-health, the elderly and little children," read the police statement.

Madikizela-Mandela died last week after a lengthy battle with illness.

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