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Bizana residents to remember Mama Winnie in official memorial

African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa will be in Bizana in the Eastern Cape where Madikizela-Mandela was born.

FILE: ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela looks on as she is greeted by Women's League supporters gathered in Soweto on 26 September 2016 to celebrate her 80th birthday. Picture: AFP

DURBAN – As the 10-day mourning period continues to bring sorrow and celebrations for the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the people of her hometown will on Tuesday remember one of their own.

Monday marked exactly a week since the passing of the struggle icon whose death has sparked countrywide commemorations.

Today, African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa will be in Bizana in the Eastern Cape where Madikizela-Mandela was born.

Her death has sparked widespread debates on how she should be remembered and how far reaching her impact was on the liberation struggle outside of her husband’s political life.

But today, the people from the veteran’s birthplace in Bizana in the Eastern Cape will also have their say as the ANC hosts its official memorial there this morning.

Thousands of residents are expected to attend the event which will be held at the Mphuthumi Mafumbatha Stadium.

Madikizela-Mandela was also remembered at a service held by the Nelson Mandela Foundation at Constitution Hill on Monday.

Former first lady Graca Machel was there and she urged South Africans to become active citizens, committed to positively turning the country around.

“I want to ask each one of you after the funeral, what are you going to do more?”

Speaking on the Karima Brown Show on Monday night, International Relations and Cooperation’s Minister Lindiwe Sisulu recalled how Madikizela-Mandela encouraged her to run for ANC president last year.

“She called me and said ‘My daughter I want you to stand for presidency.’ I then spent so many of my days campaigning with her and it didn’t work out and she said ‘If South Africa isn’t ready for woman leader it’s OK. Or maybe you didn’t work hard enough?’”