South Africans will have to wait a long time before they see the likes of another "lioness" like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who "fought the apartheid regime as well as the oppression and patriarchy within the ANC", the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) said.
Hailing Madikizela-Mandela as an "icon of the struggle" and "iqhawe lamaqhawe lihambile (a hero among heroes)", ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini said that she had fought tirelessly.
Madikizela-Mandela died in Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday at the age of 81, after a long illness.
"She fought tirelessly, defending the whole nation up until the enemy misguided with the hope of destroying her, but she prevailed and as usual stood the test of time."
Dlamini said Madikizela-Mandela was a beautiful woman inside and outside.
Her spirit was never dampened by Brandfort. Instead she was more productive, and she liberated herself from banishment, she said.
"She [Madikizela-Mandela] was able to keep the pain inside her beautiful heart. She never cried in the presence of those who were suffering, but she would become a lioness and cry during her private moments."
According to Dlamini, Madikizela-Mandela reminded them of who they were and where they came from through her actions and not through her words.
"You would only see her watery, shining eyes when it was difficult," Dlamini said.