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Zimbabwe parliament to honour Winnie Mandela

Zimbabwe parliament to honour Winnie Mandela

Her family was by her side‚ family spokesman Victor Dlamini said.

Graca Machel, widow of South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, has hailed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a courageous woman and source of inspiration to all.

"I wish that all of us as women would take on the legacy she has left for black people in this country". Her reputation was muddied by scandal, however, including a 1991 conviction for kidnapping and assault.

I will never forget the day Archbishop Desmond Tutu pleaded with her at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, formed to heal the wounds of apartheid, to say "sorry" for all the things that had gone wrong.

Born in 1936 in the Transkei, now known as Eastern Cape, Winnie moved to Johannesburg in 1953 to study social work, which was where she met Mandela.

The family said it will release details of her memorial and funeral services when they are finalized.

Madikizela-Mandela was known to her supporters as the "Mother of the Nation".

"Tommy (her husband, Tommy Cowan) had bought the book while he was on tour, he penned the song, and he gave me the book which I read from cover to cover, and then inspiration took over", she said.

More news: Winnie Mandela dies aged 81 after illness

"The Mother of the Nation would have restored the dignity of black people", Malema said, adopting an epithet widely used in South African media to reflect respect for Madikizela-Mandela's outspoken opposition to the apartheid regime. The death is a great loss on that she has been one of the strongest women in our struggle, who suffered immensely.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said Mandela's death brings into focus the significant struggle of black people throughout the world against racism and in particular apartheid in South Africa.

She had been married only a few years when her husband was sentenced to life in prison. When one looks back on her life one can not help but be in awe of her resilience, her capacity to love and her undying passion for justice.

But Winnie Mandela was not the demon she was made out to be by apartheid's propagandists, a narrative still perpetuated by many today. She must have spent years building up levels of resentment and anger that she probably dreamt of unleashing against her tormentors, wiping them off the face of the earth.

Later, at a time when many other anti-apartheid leaders were languishing in jail or in exile, she not only represented the liberation movement.

She was accused of running a mafia-style gang responsible for multiple murders and beatings in Soweto, and of endorsing "necklacing" - killing suspected informers with burning tires put over their heads. She lives and the struggle continues until total victory. "Period", said her one-time lawyer Dikgang Moseneke. "And that love has survived all these years of separation ... perhaps if I'd had time to know him better I might have found a lot of faults, but I only had time to love him and long for him all the time". "And he shed tears to say that we have chose to separate".

The couple divorced in 1996, two years after Mandela became president in South Africa's first all-race elections. "He loved her to the end".


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