14 April 2018

South Africa: Joyce Banda Pays Tribute to 'Mentor' Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Former president Joyce Banda was among thousands of people who, on Saturday, paid tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela when they gave high profile send off at funeral ceremony in Soweto, Johannesburg in South Africa.

The anti-apartheid campaigner and ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died on 2 April.

Banda, who has been leaving in the US and South Africa since after losing the 2014 presidential election to President Peter Mutharika, was conspicuously seen seating close to former South African President Thabo Mbeki And Jacob Zuma.

Spokesperson for former president , Andekuche Chanthunya, said Banda could not miss the funeral ceremony, saying she was a family friend to the Mandela family.

"Winnie Mandela was her mentor, the former president was influenced in politics by the former Nelson Mandela's wife," said Chanthunya.

He said Banda met Winnie Madikizela-Mandela several times when she was alive.

Banda also spoke at the funeral of Nelson Mandela in 2013, a rare opportunity for African leaders and her speech was monitored world wide and received rare applause.

At the funeral of Winnie, Banda sat next to the wife of former president Thabo Mbeki.

Madikizela-Mandela casket was draped in the national flag, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy.

President Ramaphosa described Madikizela-Mandela as a symbol of resistance who laid bare the edifice of patriarchy. He apologised for only belatedly recognising her contribution.

"I'm sorry, Mama, that your organisation delayed in according you its honour, to this point in time and moment. As president, I will propose that we award you the highest order of our movement, you richly deserve to be awarded", Ramaphosa said.

There were loud cheers when the radical Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema paid tribute to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.

Malema called on the government to honour Madikizela-Mandela by naming the Cape Town airport after her.

The firebrand red berets leader was scathing of ANC leaders who' he said' that "sold out" Madikizela-Mandela during the transition from apartheid to the democratic government.

Model and activist Naomi Campbell broke down in tears on Saturday in front of thousands of mourners gathered for the funeral of Winnie Madikizela Mandela' when she paid tribute to the late leader.

She was laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park beside her great-granddaughter' Zenani.

South Africa

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