'#WinnieMandela will not rest in peace until land returned to people'

President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for defending women’s rights and constantly seeking to undo patriarchal structures, including within the ANC’s ranks.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gathers among mourners at memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Bizana on 10 April 2018. Picture: Ziyanda Ngcobo/EWN

BIZANA - African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela must not only serve to bury her body, but should be used as an opportunity to regenerate her spirit.

The statesman addressed thousands who gathered in the Eastern Cape’s Bizana area for the memorial for the icon.

Ramaphosa has lauded her for defending women’s rights and constantly seeking to undo patriarchal structures, including within the ANC’s ranks.

Ramaphosa says Madikizela-Mandela will not rest in peace until her people have the land returned to them.

He says her burial should become a moment for all to embody her values.

“It should not just be an act of putting her body into that coffin and into the ground. It should be an act where her spirit, where her courage and where her determination will regenerate itself.”

Ramaphosa reminded the thousands gathered to remain selfless.

“She did not serve her own family, she did not serve any other interest. All she ever knew, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela - she only knew to serve the people of South Africa.”

The president says the work to unite the ANC must continue so that the party can become an instrument to transform society.