South Africa lays to rest anti-apartheid icon and Nelson Mandela’s former wife Winnie Mandela with full state honours at a stadium funeral in Soweto on Saturday. Tens of thousands of mourners burst into loud cheers as the casket carrying her remains was wheeled into the stadium, less than two kilometres from her home. 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.