Today South Africans bid a final farewell to the Mother of the Nation in a heartfelt and solemn service at the Special Official Funeral that was held at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.
Mama Winnie was laid to rest with the Madikizela and Mandela family, Heads of State and Government, eminent persons from around the world and leaders of various organisations in attendance.
The service brought together South Africans from across the social and political spectrum in unity to honour Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The more than 40 000 mourners at Orlando Stadium and overflow facilities around the stadium together with the millions of viewers following the proceedings on television are a testament to the people’s love for Mama Winnie.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be remembered as one of the strongest women in the struggle against apartheid. She played a formative role in the opposition to apartheid and in building a non-racist, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. All South Africans are forever indebted to the role Mama Winnie played in the country’s liberation.
“Government expresses its gratitude to all South Africans and the international community for taking leave of Mama Winnie in the dignified and uplifting manner through tributes, messages of condolence and memorial events.” said Acting GCIS Director-General Ms Phumla Williams.
Government thanks the Madikizela and Mandela family for sharing Mama Winnie with the nation and the world during her life and in her death. The family has generously worked with government to make it possible for all South Africans to share in mourning our stalwart.
Government acknowledges the role played by our security forces who ensured a smooth and incident free funeral service and numerous public servants who worked tirelessly over the week to stage the Special Official State Funeral.
The members of the local and international media are thanked for constructively and patiently working with government over the past few days and for ensuring that this important occasion reached all South Africans and the world.
On behalf of all South Africans, government extends its best wishes to the Madikizela and Mandela family as they make peace with Mama Winnie’s passing in the coming period.
In the spirit of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and in honour of her memory it is now our shared responsibility to continue to shape a national identity that is built on mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance.
Let us reach out to those in need as she would have and take them along on our journey as we build on the principles of equality, democracy and human rights that Mama Winnie fought so hard for.
Hamba Kahle Mama Winnie.