Madikizela-Mandela to be given a hero's farewell

President Cyril Rampahosa has given details around the official memorial service which will be held on 11 April at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church. The funeral will be on 14 April.

In this file photo taken on 28 June 2013 The former wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela Madikizela, speaks to the media outside their first family home in Soweto. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has announced a special official funeral will be held for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto next Saturday - 14 April.

In a statement, President Cyril Rampahosa has also given details around the official memorial service which will be held on 11 April at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church.

Madikizela-Mandela died at a Johannesburg hospital on Monday at the age of 81.

Ramaphosa says in line with the honour of the special declaration, the national flag will fly at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide, as well as at South African missions abroad with immediate effect.

The president has further announced a mourning period between now and 14 April.

Family members, neighbours, politicians and dignitaries have spent the day at Madikizela-Mandela's Soweto home, paying tribute to the late freedom fighter for her sacrifices, bravery and steadfast beliefs.

While she had spent some time in hospital in recent months, her condition deteriorated unexpectedly.

Rain began to fall on Tuesday afternoon and journalists, African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters took cover in cars and under trees.

During a lull in the rain, the ANC Women's League came out of the house singing and dancing with several bouquets of white and yellow flowers to place on the front wall.

The league 's president Bathabile Dlamini also had some words for her supporters.

She said: “You must never allow anyone to push you down. Long live the spirit of mam’ Winnie, long live.”

Dlamini adds they have learnt from Madikizela-Mandela and must continue doing her work, by firstly pushing for education, adding that teaching women, is teaching a nation.

“She is the one who put us on this pedestal, why some of us are strong it is because we learned from mam’ Winnie.”

Earlier EFF leader Julius Malema praised Madikizela-Mandela saying he learnt a lot from her.

“We learned our politics from Winnie Mandela. The ABC of politics.”

ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule is scheduled to arrive at the family home on Tuesday, along with members of the national executive committee.

More details are set to emerge on key events planned for the next few days to honour the late Madikizela-Mandela.