Mandela family, govt to begin preparations for Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been remembered as a fearless leader who was never afraid to criticise the African National Congress (ANC) when things went wrong.

FILE: ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela at Ahmed Kathrada's funeral on 29 March 2017. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The government and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's family are expected to begin making arrangements to give her a hero's send-off with millions of South Africans reflecting on the massive role she played in the liberation of the country.

The 81-year-old died at a Johannesburg hospital on Monday and news of her passing has sent shockwaves through the world.

She will be buried on the 14th of this month.

Madikizela-Mandela has been remembered as a fearless leader who was never afraid to criticise the African National Congress (ANC) when things went wrong.

Speaking after the passing of another struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada last March, Madikizela-Mandela said she had many fears for South Africa’s future and that Kathrada’s death marked the end of an important chapter in the county’s history.

WATCH: Soweto neighbours share memories of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

An emotional Madikizela-Mandela had just attended one of Kathrada’s memorial services last year when she spoke to the media outside expressing her concern about the country and how ANC leaders have dealt with the problems facing its people.

She said she was sad that Kathrada died with a heavy heart because of this.

“We wish he hadn’t rest at this particular time and I can imagine how pained he was that he left at this particular time. All that he had fought for was not what’s going on today. It’s treasure to him, we can’t pretend South Africa isn’t in crisis.”

Madikizela-Mandela has on numerous occasions made it clear that her support for the ANC will never waver but recently expressed concern over infighting and leaders not fulfilling their promises.

Madikizela-Mandela had several run ins with apartheid police she was tortured subjected to house arrest held in solitary confinement and even banished to Brandfort in the Free State.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she will always be remembered for her suffering and the sacrifices she's made for a free South Africa.

“I want to pass my deepest sympathy and condolence to the Mandela family and to the entire nation. It’s a great loss to our nation.”

At the same time, President Muhammadu Buhari has joined other world leaders to mourn the death of South-African anti-apartheid icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, describing it as a huge loss to Africa.

Buhari has described Madikizela-Mandela, as a courageous woman.

A statement by Buhari,, released late Monday evening eugoloised the Former wife of Late Nelson Mandela for showing uncommon determination, steadfastness and perseverance who held aloft the torch of the struggle against institutionalised discrimination even while her ex-husband was incarcerated.

President Buhari commiserated with the family of the Mandelas, the government and people of South Africa, urging them to be consoled by the knowledge that the late Winnie Mandela’s contributions to ending apartheid will not be forgotten.