Manuel urges SA to ‘never forget’ sacrifices made by Madikizela-Mandela

Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has hailed the late struggle icon as courageous and warm.

Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel gives a keynote address on the life of Ma Winnie at Constitution Hill, Johannesburg on 9 April 2018. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's daughters and other family members have arrived at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

With the programme for the official memorial service underway, former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel has hailed the struggle icon as courageous and warm.

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Manuel has joined thousands of South Africans to remember the woman who many regarded as the “mother of the nation”.

She passed away last week at a Johannesburg hospital. She was 81.

A stage has been set up, with a large picture of Madikizela-Mandela wearing traditional Xhosa clothin in ANC colours.

Manuel has urged South Africans to never forget how much Madikizela-Mandela sacrificed for the country.

“Whether it was her first engagement, her marriage to Madiba, defiance of her first banning order to go to his court case or right through until the very end, that’s the hallmark of Mam’ Winnie. She was an inspiration to others.”

Manuel says the 81-year-old was a selfless leader.

Last week, Manuel criticised former Free State Premier Ace Magashule for failing to restore Madikizela-Mandela's house in Brandfort where she was banished to by the apartheid regime between 1977 and 1986.

Magashule, who is now ANC secretary-general, responded by saying that Manuel is ill-disciplined.

WATCH LIVE: Madikizela-Mandela memorial service underway

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)