Mama Winnie didn’t die... she multiplied in us - supporters

State funeral of "mother of the nation" Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela . (Iavan Pijoos, News24)
State funeral of "mother of the nation" Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela . (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Supporters of the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela came in their masses to bid farewell to the "mother of the nation" on Saturday morning.  

A heavy police presence stood guard at the gates of the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, where the funeral service was going to take place. 

Supporters from all over, many clad in the ANC colours, flocked to attend the service. 

Some held aloft placards bearing the face of Madikizela-Mandela. One of the placards had a series of pictures of Madikizela-Mandela and former president Nelson Mandela.

The name Winnie Madikizela-Mandela echoed through the stadium as struggle songs were being sung. 

Joy Chauke from Rosettenville said she came to the service to pay respect to "Mama Winnie", who fought for many people in the country. 

"As a woman, I am so proud to come here today and say goodbye to her. She is my inspiration.

"I am Joy Chauke, I am Winnie Madikizela-Mandela."

Jacob Zitha, who lives on the same street as Madikizela-Mandela, brought his 11-year-old daughter, Nozipho, to the stadium so she "can see how we send off a hero".

"She was too young when Nelson Mandela died. But now she's here to see how we send off Mam' Winnie," Zitha said.

"We are here to bury our mother - the mother who was so courageous. She was a mother, a teacher, and a guardian for the community." 

Zitha said he wanted to teach his daughter about politics and the heroes of the struggle. 

"She wants to see what's going on. As a father, I am trying to teach her and show her how life and politics are going," he said. 

"I hope my daughter can look at Winnie and live her life like that."

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