Photos From Winnie Mandela’s Funeral In South Africa

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South Africans gathered Saturday to bid farewell to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an anti-apartheid icon hailed as the mother of a nation and a political force.

Crowds packed Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg’s Soweto township for the funeral following a private service at the home of Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of the late Nelson Mandela, who served as South Africa’s President after fighting for decades to deliver the nation from apartheid. Mourners followed her coffin in procession into the stadium, where the funeral began with the singing of the national anthem.
The casket draped with the multi-coloured South African flag was placed in the middle of the 37,500-seater stadium in front of a stage, decked in white and yellow flowers.

Mourners dressed in the colours of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as well those of the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), sang “there’s no-one like Winnie”, an adapted popular liberation struggle song.

The ceremony concludes 10 days of national mourning during which time thousands of South Africans have paid tribute to the “Mother of the Nation” at her Soweto home and elsewhere.

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.

 

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