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Mama Winnie, ‘shining sun & guiding star’

Hundreds of people are gathered at the OR Tambo Hall to pay their respects to the late struggle icon.

Attendees at the OR Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha pay tribute to the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. Picture: Graig-Lee Smith/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been described as a shining sun and a guiding star at her memorial service in Khayelitsha.

Hundreds of people are gathered at the OR Tambo Hall to pay their respects to the late struggle icon.

Her grandson, Mandla Mandela, says she was a mother to generations of freedom fighters.

“She has been an immovable mountain, a mother to generations of freedom fighters and one who has always rallied together young and old, rural and urban and men and women. He power swayed our resistance to apartheid in the darkest moments when other leaders were languishing in jail or in exile.”

The SACP's Benson Nqentsu says Madikizela-Mandela stood for the freedom of the oppressed.

He adds she was a leader to the nation and not a racist.

Nqentsu has further called on the alliance partners to unite and he's condemned factions.

“It is important for us to see to it that our movement reflects the Western Cape, its diversity in the true sense of diversity.”

He says Madikizela-Mandela wasn’t a racist, but a true fighter.

Mourners have described Madikizela-Mandela as a fearless, loving and courageous woman.

At the OR Tambo Hall, people are invited to write messages of support in a condolence book on a special table with three candles.

The memorial service is one of many being held across the country.

Madikizela-Mandela or Mama Winnie, as many would call her, will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Some of the keynote speakers at Monday afternoon’s service are National Assembly Speaker Baleke Mbete, ANC NEC member Naledi Pandor and Chief Mandla Mandela.

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