JOHANNESBURG – Mourners lined Maseli Street next to the late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Orlando West, Soweto as her body arrived from the mortuary on Friday.
There was a sombre mood as the mourners watched the coffin, covered with the African National Congress (ANC) flag, being carried past them. They sang revolutionary songs and clapped hands, praising the struggle hero.
One mourner, donning green, black and ANC colours shouted “Hamba kahle mama” with a raised fist. Members of the uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) carried ANC flags depicting the ANC’s past and present presidents, marched in front of the coffin.
Men from both the Mandela and Madikizela families carried the coffin towards the yard.
Clenched fists were raised throughout, saluting the beloved ‘Mother of the Nation’ as she was affectionately known as.
Dignitaries including ambassadors, ministers and political party leaders had arrived earlier at the house. Graca Machel, widow of former South African statesman Nelson Mandela also arrived after lunchtime.
Madikizela-Mandela’s body laid at Kupane funeral home in Orlando East. She passed away on April 2 at Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital. The revered anti-apartheid struggle icon is the ex wife of the late Mandela.
Her funeral service will be held at Orlando Stadium on Saturday and will be laid to rest at Fourways Memorial Park, north of Johannesburg, where her great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela was buried in 2010.