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Family: Mama Winnie raised a nation of kings & queens

The memorial service for the late struggle stalwart is currently underway at the Orlando Stadium.

Some of the crowd that attended the memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Orlando Stadium. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's family have called on people to respect the woman affectionately known as “the mother of the nation”, saying the stalwart was her own woman who contributed massively to the struggle for freedom.

The memorial service for the late struggle stalwart is currently underway at the Orlando Stadium.

Many things have been said and written about Madikizela-Mandela, some of which has painted her in a bad light.

Madikizela-Mandela's oldest grandchild Bambatha Mandela says her grandmother deserves to be recognised as an individual who contributed to the struggle.

“Behind every great man is an even greater woman. uMama was the embodiment of that quote. Many people today speak of the struggle and will mention my granddad without even giving word or praise to uMama’s contribution. People who think like that are wrong.”

The family has described Madikizela-Mandela as a queen who raised a nation of kings and queens.

Meanwhile, Madikizela-Mandela’s personal assistant also gave a moving tribute, saying Madikizela-Mandela loved the ANC at the end.

HER WISH WAS FOR UNITY IN ANC

The ANC says Madikizela-Mandela wanted to see the organisation united with an end to petty squabbles between its leaders.

The icon died last week at the age of 81.

She previously described the organisation as being in a crisis, but recently expressed confidence in the new leadership.

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte says Madikizela-Mandela wanted the best for the party.

“Her wish was for the unity of the ANC. For the petty squabbles to disappear. For those who saw themselves as needing to be more powerful than others to understand one thing, and one thing only, that without the ANC, we are nothing.”

She also criticised people who have recently come out to publicly set the record straight about the struggle stalwart's legacy.

“And yesterday I heard that a certain Erasmus has confessed. That they planned all this, that [they] paid journalists to write stories about her. Sit down and shut up.”

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