Ramaphosa hails Madikizela-Mandela at Bizana memorial service

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa addressed thousands of residents-diplomats and dignitaries in Bizana in the Eastern Cape the birthplace of the anti-apartheid activist.

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

MBIZANA, Eastern Cape – President Cyril Ramaphosa says the efforts to unite the African National Congress (ANC) must continue in order for it to remain an instrument to transform society.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa addressed thousands of residents-diplomats and dignitaries in Bizana in the Eastern Cape, the birthplace of the anti-apartheid activist.

The Madikizela family thanked the African National Congress (ANC) for bringing the commemoration to the Eastern Cape since the struggle icon will now be laid to rest in Johannesburg.

A champion of the people, a fearless cadre, a true patriot and the mother of the nation.

These are all the words that were used to describe Madikizela-Mandela during the ANC’s memorial in Bizana.

Ramaphosa lauded the icon for sacrificing her life for the freedom enjoyed by all today.

“And we’ll unite the African National Congress, her glorious movement.”

Ramaphosa says Madikizela-Mandela died a happy woman knowing that the ANC has taken the resolution to expropriate land without compensation at its December elective conference.

WATCH: #WinnieMandela remembered in hometown Bizana

NOT REST UNTIL LAND RETURNS

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.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)