Winnie was a real makoti – ANC veteran Lillian Diedericks

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela during her birthday celebrations on September 26, 2016 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Felix Dlangamandla)
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela during her birthday celebrations on September 26, 2016 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Felix Dlangamandla)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a real makoti (bride). 

These are the words of 92-year-old struggle hero and ANC veteran Lillian Diedericks. 

Speaking to the SABC, she described Madikizela-Mandela as soft-spoken and loyal to her former husband.

"She was for me a real makoti [bride] who knew what she wanted because getting involved with someone like (Nelson) Mandela was huge," Diedericks said during the interview with the public broadcaster. 

Diedericks, who led the 1956 Women's March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria against pass laws, said she knew Madikizela-Mandela through her friendship with her former husband and world icon Nelson Mandela. 

Through her close friend, Raymond Mhlaba, she became friends with the likes of Mandela and Govan Mbeki, she said and shared many fond times with the fallen struggle heroes. 

She described how in the Eastern Cape, during Madikizela-Mandela's tumultuous years, she was never forsaken. 

"I can say, we all in the Eastern Cape rallied with our minds around her. She was never forsaken, she was loved because she had that personality. In the Eastern Cape she really didn't come so frequently as we would have liked, but being a young mother she couldn't just come."

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