South Africa says farewell to Mama Winnie

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Picture: Gallo
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Picture: Gallo

South Africa will finally bid farewell to Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who will be laid to rest in Fourways, Johannesburg after a state funeral service at Orlando Stadium.

This will end the official days of mourning that President Cyril Ramaphosa declared on April 3 - the day after the 81-year-old struggle icon died.

There was an outpouring of grief across the country and abroad.

On Saturday the world's eyes will be on Soweto's Orlando Stadium.

About 600 busses will depart from every corner of Gauteng at 04:30 and transport mourners to the stadium.

Roads around the venue will be closed to the public and vehicles will not be allowed to enter the area.

Instead, vehicles will have to park at Nasrec Expo Centre, opposite gates 1 and 2. Shuttles will ferry people to the stadium, also from 04:30.

Mourners have been requested to be seated by 07:30.

At Madikizela-Mandela's residence in Orlando, a ceremony will start at 06:30, which is expected to include a viewing of the body, a homily and the draping of the casket.

The casket delivered to the house on Friday as people lined the streets of Orlando, many holding clenched fists in the air.

Most of the women wore a doek. 

The procession will leave for Orlando Stadium at 08:00, where official proceedings are expected to begin at 09:00.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy.

Ramaphosa is not the only head of state who will speak at the funeral.

Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of the Republic of Congo, and Namibian president Hage Geingob will also deliver speeches.

From the family's side, Madikizela-Mandela's daughters, Zindzi Mandela and Zenani Mandela-Dlamini will deliver tributes, as will Madikizela-Mandela's sisters and one of her grandchildren, Zondwa Mandela.

Madikizela-Mandela's granddaughter Swati Dlamini-Mandela will read the obituary.

Energy minister Jeff Radebe will also deliver an address on behalf of the extended family and Zukiswa Madikizela will pay tribute on behalf of the Madikizela family.

EFF leader Julius Malema will also speak, while Fikile Mbalula will speak on behalf of the ANC as will Bathabile Dlamini in her capacity as leader of the ANC Women's League.

Gauteng premier David Makhuru will welcome mourners at the ceremony.

The AbaThembu prince, Azenathi Dalindyebo, will deliver a royal address. 

Among the expected musical performers are Thandiswa Mazwai and Sipho Hotstix Mabuza.

The proceedings are expected to finish at 13:00, after which a military ceremony will take place at the burial site at Fourways Memorial Park.

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