'Don't act like ungrateful children' - Mam' Winnie's grandson to her detractors

2018-04-11 17:38

Don't behave like ungrateful children, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's grandson Bambatha Mandela told the late struggle icon's detractors at her memorial service in Orlando, Soweto, on Wednesday.

"This is a time of mourning, but also a time to celebrate the life of uMakhulu (Grandmother) and her legacy, not just for us as her family, but [for] us as a country and the world as a collective. We have lost an extraordinary woman in Mommy, a mother, a soldier an icon," Mandela said towards the end of his speech. 


Members of the Mandela family entering Orlando stadium in Soweto. (Mahlatse Mahlase, News24)

"Your support is overwhelming and very much appreciated. 

"For those of you who are still trying to drag the name of uMakhulu, archbishops and chiefs alike, the people are angry, they are hurt, and we will not tolerate your defamatory messages or disrespect. You must learn to respect this legendary individual who has mothered a nation instead of behaving like ungrateful children."    

Mandela told of Madikizela-Mandela's excitement and how she filled him with courage when he proposed. 

He also said she could have left Soweto and moved to the suburbs. 

'Behind every great man is an even greater woman'

"But she chose not to because she wanted to live among the people she fought for, loved and protected. It's those same people who still love her and protect her legacy today and forever.

"I used to ask her: 'Makhulu, why don't you get a house near us, or even just stay with us for a few days' if my mother was away. And she'd say: 'Darling, I don't think I would be able to sleep. And if I do, I don't want to wake up next to my enemies.'"

Members of the public at Winnie Madizikela-Mandela's memorial service. (Mahlatse Mahlase, News24)

He said Madikizela-Mandela was the embodiment of the saying, "behind every great man there is an even greater woman". 

"Many people today speak of the struggle and mention uTatomkhulu (grandfather Nelson Mandela) without giving word or praise of uMama's contribution. People who think like that are wrong. And simply, without getting into semantics, it's for the simple reason that women cannot be compared to men. 

"It is queens who raise kings; who create us. UMakhulu was a queen who's raised a nation of kings and queens. Many of whom I sit among today." 

Other grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of them very young, spoke of Madikizela-Mandela, bringing some of the mourners in the stadium to tears. 

"She was the best woman in the world," a great-granddaughter said. 

Among those who attended the memorial at Orlando Stadium were several Cabinet members, including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Bathabile Dlamini and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and other high-ranking ANC members, Nelson Mandela's widow Graça Machel, George Bizos, Tokyo Sexwale, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa and former finance minister Trevor Manuel and his wife Maria Ramos. 

There was also a section of the crowd dressed in EFF regalia. The red berets were invited by Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who directed the programme, to lead the stadium in song.

Read more on:    winnie ­madikizela-mandela

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