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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela honoured for her contribution, sacrifice

President Jacob Zuma bestowed national orders on 32 people at a ceremony in Pretoria today.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela was hospitalised for back surgery earlier this month. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been awarded the Order of Luthuli in silver, for her contribution and sacrifices during the fight for a democratic South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma bestowed national orders on 32 people at a ceremony in Pretoria today.

Madikizela-Mandela could not attend the event because of her ill-health.

National Orders Chancellor Dr Cassius Lubisi says the struggle stalwart is being honoured for her excellent contribution in the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa.

"She bravely withstood constant harassment by the apartheid police; challenging their very brutality at every turn."

President Zuma described Madikizela-Mandela as a courageous woman who became a symbol of the struggle.

"She was not deterred by the persecution. She became a formidable force, facing the enemy head on."

Her granddaughter, Zoleka collected the award on her behalf.