[LIVE BLOG] Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been laid to rest

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is being laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park.

#WinnieMandelaFuneral Winnie Nomzamo Zanyiwe Madikizela-Mandela has been laid to rest.
Lala ngoxolo.
Aahh’ Nobandla, aahh’ Nobandla, ahh’ Nobandla!!!
Ntombi Yakwa Madikizela

Thanduxolo Mandela thanks all media.

"We are short or words to say thank you," Thanduxolo Mandela says.

Thanduxolo Mandela, on behalf of the family, says the family didn't expect a category one funeral, but they appreciate it.

Everyone has paid their respects. These are now the last moments...

As more family members, friends and dignitaries pay their last respects, hymns from the Methodist Church, which Mama Winnie was a member of, play in the background.

Graça Machel and her daughter have now paid their respects too.

Naomi Campbell is also among those paying respects at the grave site.

The family and president Ramaphosa now step forward to pay their last respects. They place flowers on top of the casket.

"Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust...," says Bishop Siwa.

"Oh death, where is thy victory?," Bishop Siwa says.

Bishop Siwa now leads the committal.

Pallbearers have performed their last salute. 

A heartbroken Zindziswa looks on through teary eyes at her mother's casket. Others from the Mandela family comfort each other as the trumpet call sounds.

The trumpet call now sounding.

Military officials have now laid the casket down.

The youngest of the Mandela clan sit in front of the daughters and President Ramaphosa.

The rain has now stopped in Fourways as the casket makes its way to the grave site.

The proceedings at the grave site are expected to be as follows:

  • Removal of miniature SA flag by SANDF from the casket. It will be given to Chief of the SANDF who will give it to President, who will give it to the family
  • The casket will then be undraped
  • Pall bearers salute and withdraw
  • Pall bearers take up position
  • Last post is sounded
  • Sounding of Reveille (trumpet call)
  • Pall bearers salute and withdraw
  • Committal service by Bishop Siwa
  • Vote of thanks from General Thanduxolo Mandela
  • Benedition by Bishop Siwa


Full procession has arrived. The casket is now being ushered into the park by military officials.

Buses carrying mourners are still coming into the area.

President Cyril Ramaphosa leads dignitaries as they make their way to their seats.

As the clouds darken and rain falls in Fourways, the sun is now shining again in Soweto.

Military officials arrive first ahead of the casket.

Well, that was quick..

 Mama Winnie will be laid to rest near her great-granddaughter and great grandson, Zenani and Zenawe, both Zoleka Mandela's children's who tragically died at 13 and 2 days, respectively. 

The funeral procession is expected to go as follows:
The procession will depart from Orlando Stadium in Soweto and head towards the N17, then on-ramp on the N1 highway, off-ramp at William Nicol Drive and turn left into Cedar Road and into the private road leading to the Fourways Memorial Park.

Raw emotion now as it becomes more real that this is the final goodbye. 

Crowds inside the stadium, despite becoming drenched in the rain, continue singing and dancing.

As it rains, Mama Winnie's casket is transported out of Soweto. Raindrops fall on it, perhaps a symbol of blessing, cleansing and preparation for the ground to receive her body.

The casket has been loaded on the military vehicle, readying to depart Soweto.

The crowd sings "uWinnie lo abamaziyo abazange bambone".

In African culture, rain is seen as a blessing, especially on ceremonial occasions.

The military process now begins. Mama Winnie's casket will leave for the cemetery now.

Zuma won't be speaking, but some are calling for him to come and sing.

Bishop Zipho Siwa is now on the podium.

We are nearing the end of the programme, a sermon is still to be delivered.

Ramaphosa recites Mama Winnie's clan names. The crowd cheers, some stand to their feet.

"uMadiba is waiting to receive you," Ramaphosa says.

Ramaphosa comments on Mama Winnie's beauty and grace. He says they were apparent to all.

"Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died, but she is not
gone. She lives on in all of us," Ramaphosa says.

Winnie should have been president.

"The Mother of the Nation has died, but she is not gone," Ramaphosa says.

A mourner at the grave site speaks about Mama Winnie's legacy for young women.

"Just as Mam’ Winnie has united us in sorrow, let us honour
her memory by uniting in common purpose," Ramaphosa says.

Ramaphosa: "Mam’ Winnie was a witness to the truths and horrors of our nation, not only because of her own hardships but because of her courage. "
"Like the women who went to Jesus’s tomb after the men ran away, she was perpetually in the trenches, never afraid that it would be too much for her to bear. "

Ramaphosa reads Maya Angelou's poem "Still I rise".

"Loudly and apologetically, she spoke truth to power..." says Ramaphosa.

"The pain we carry... cannot be extinguished... We do not want to be denied our joy in recalling the life of so wondrous a person," Ramaphosa says.

"She has been our big Mama throughout her life," says Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa thanks some dignitaries who are present.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is now addressing the crowd.

SA music legend Dorothy Masuku is now performing

Campbell sheds tears as she rounds up her speech.

Mourners outside Fourways memorial are ready for Mama Winnie.

Campbell first met Mama Winnie in 1990 in New York, shortly after Madiba's release.

British supermodel Naomi Campbell makes a surprise appearance. "Without her, we wouldn't know anything of grandpa [Nelson Mandela's] struggles," she says.

Mantashe says the ANC must follow through with the Brandfort house project.

The spirit of Mam' Winnie must unite the ANC, Mantahse says.

Winnie Nomzamo Mandela was a great leader of the ANC.

ANC chairperson, Gwede Mantashe is now up.

Legendary musician Sipho Mabuse now performing.

Dlamini requests for a Winnie Mandela Day to be declared. She also says the order of Isthwalandwe must be bestowed on Mama Winnie.

Dlamini says the WL will never stop fighting for a woman president.

Some in the crowd sing over Dlamini as she speaks.

"Phambili no Mam' Winnie, Phambili," Dlmini says.

Bathabile Dlamini, ANCWL president, is up next.

"We are on top of land expropriation without compensation," Mbalula says

Mbalula also addresses Winnie directly in his speech.

The ANC is all here, Mama," says Mbalula. "Even your wayward children the EFF is here, we'll keep begging them to return."

Mbalula is Malema's predecessor as ANCYL president. Both are known for being colourful in their speeches.

Fikile Mbalula is next to deliver a tribute by the ANC.

Malema still the main topic of the funeral.

Some EFF members are now leaving the stadium.

Jeff Radebe now up to pay tribute on behalf of the extended family.

Malema has left the podium but the crowd is still singing and cheering.

Reactions to Malema's speech:

"We don't need these people to tell us who Winnie Mandela is, we know her," Malema says.

"We see you in your beautiful suits... Sell outs!" Malema says. Some in the crowd chant "Zuma, Zuma."

Even the daughters cheer and laugh as Malema speaks.

"Some of those who sold you out to the regime are here... What is funny is that they are crying the loudest, more than anyone who cared for you," Malema says. The crowd cheers, while some boo.

"The leadership of the EFF is here because they proudly and unashamedly associated with you, while you were still alive," Malema says.

Malema thanks those who supported Mama Winnie during the Stompie Seipei trial. He also acknowledges that Stompie's mom is present.

"I'm comforted by the fact that mama died a perfect death... she died a death of a revolutionary because never sold out," Malema says.

Reactions to Malema leaving out Zuma

"I speak on behalf of the landless people, the unemployed youth, the #FeesMustFall generation, the security guards... the teachers... I am here, not so much to bury mama, because queen mothers don't die."

Malema doesn't recognise Jacob Zuma in his greetings.

"Forward to expropriation of land without compensation, forward." Malema says.

Julius Malema is now up. The crowd chants "Juju, Juju..."

Thandiswa Mazwai's "Nizilibele u'ba nizalwa ngobani" is a tribute to all heroes and heroines of SA,  including Mama Winnie.

Thandiswa Mazwai is now on stage.

"It is difficult to accept that she is no longer with us," Zenani says as she chokes up in tears.

"It was my mother who kept his [Nelson Mandela] memory alive. She kept his name on the lips of the people," Zenani says

Zenani's stern words.

The crowd chants "bua" (speak) as she speaks.

Zenani says she is angry with ex top cop George Fivaz for only revealing the truth after her death. She also lambastes those who have vilified her in book,social media etc. "Don't think for a moment we have forgotten... Praising her now shows what hypocrites you are."

Zenani questions why it took her mother's death for the truth about her and her life to be revealed.

"I urge you to search the archives so you can fully appreciate who my mother was," Zenani says.

Zenani regroups and talks again.

Swati Dlamini-Mandela takes over and reads for her mother.

Zenani is bothered by a cough, interrupting her address. Her sister comforts her and helps her take a sip of water.

"Your presence means everything to me and my family," says Zenani.

Zindziswa and Zenani Mandela, Mama Winnie's daughters now on the podium. The crowd cheers and sings for them.

A beautiful audio visual tribute to Mama Winnie.

Mourners are moved by Zonke's performance.

"Sinjena nje, nguwe," (We are what we are because of you) sings Zonke.

Songstress Zonke Dikana sings "Viva".

Zondwa salutes the women of the Madikizela and Mandela families.

Orlando Stadium is now reportedly full with mourners being re-directed to Orlando Rugby Stadium.

"For generations to come, I hope you will tel the story of Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela- Mandela as a hero," says Zondwa.

Zindwa Mandela is now reading a tribute by the grandkids.


The obituary will now be read by Swati Dlamini-Mandela.

"More Winnies must rise..." Dalindyebo says.

Abathembu had wished that she be buried in Qunu, with Madiba, but they respect the family's decision to bury her in Johannesburg.

President Ramaphosa seated next to Zindzi and Zenani Mandela.

Loud ululations as Dalindyebo's son takes to the podium.

The Abathembu address concludes.

A tribute by the Abathembu Royal house is now being delivered by Kumkani Azenathi Dalindyebo.

Eager anticipation for the speech by Julius Malema, item number 17 on the programme.

Social media users continue posting their tributes to Mama Winnie.

"To the women of the world... Be active and help your communities in any way you can. Our sister is proof that we are capable of being revolutionaries," says Zukiswa.

When Winnie would visit home, the apartheid government would have someone follow her to spy on her.

Zukiswa is the one who suggested that Winnie added her maiden name to her surname and make it a barrel surname. Zukiswa says she was a Madikizela first before she was a Mandela.

Zukiswa Madikizela was born when Winnie was already married to Nelson Mandela.

Winnie was called Zanyiwe back home in Bizana. She survived by 3 sisters.

"uSisi would give the best hugs and kisses," Madikizela says.

Zukiswa Madikizela is now speaking on behalf of Mama Winnie's birth family.

Mourners now singing a struggle song "Isibhamu salabafana sing'khumbuza uWinnie Mandela."

Mixed reactions to the presence of former presidents.

Mrs Mokgobo now reading a tribute from the Social Workers associations.

Mrs Mokgobo conveys condolences to the family who are "going into a difficult phase of life" without their matriarch.

Mrs Mokgobo once drove from Lesotho to see Mama Winnie in Brandfort, but was refused permission to meet with her.

"We would share babysitting while we would attend to our work," Mokgobo says.

"Winnie loved her work and children came first," Mrs Mokgobo says. She explains how Mama Winnie would force fathers to pay maintenance.

Mrs Mokgobo worked alongside Mama Winnie as a social worker.

Mrs Mokgobo, a friend of Mama Winnie, now speaks.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe is also seated in the stands

Makhura quotes the late Martin Luther King. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"We miss her warm embrace and wise compassion," says Makhura. "Yes, we are weeping but we are not broken."

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is now on stage to do the official welcoming.

Thandi Modise acknowledges international dignitaries.

The orchestra now rendering a musical item. 

Mama Winnie's casket lies in the middle of Orlando Stadium. She had honoured fallen comrades before her here, today, the country bids her farewell.  IH

Nzulu yemfihlakalo, Mama Winnie's favourite hymn, is now being sung.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is seated alongside the ANC leadership in the stands.

Bishop Gary Rivas and Rev Vukile Mehana lead the opening devotions. Rivas starts off his devotion in isiXhosa.

Orlando Stadium is filling up as mourners still make their way in.

An isiXhosa hymn is now being sung.

Former Presidents Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki are there with their wives. Zuma is seated in front of Mbeki.

Some of the EFF leadership, including Floyd Shivambu, are seated in the stands.

The national anthem is being led by the SANDF.

President Cyril Ramaphosa greets the family as they take their seats. He is seated next to Mama Winnie's daughters.

The casket has now been off loaded from the hearse and is making its way across the stadium pitch.

Winnie Mandela in quotes

Family members are now making their way to the stage in the centre of the stadium.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in quotes...

The hearse is now entering Orlando Stadium.

ANC bikers have also lined the streets to form a guard of honour. They raise their helmets in their hands as the hearse passes.

Some Sowetans who have lined the streets run along side the hearse as it makes its way to Orlando Stadium.

Orlando Stadium has in the past played host to other prominent anti-apartheid struggle heroes' funerals, including former SACP leader Joe Slovo and ANC veteran Mama Albertina Sisulu.

The casket is being transported in the same hearse used during the funeral of Nelson Mandela. Military personnel are accompanying it as Mama Winnie leaves her home for the last time.

The casket draped in the SA flag, is now being put into the hearse. Pres Ramaphosa and Mama Winnie's daughters walk solemnly behind it.

American Civil Rights icon Jess Jackson has arrived at Orlando Stadium.

EWN journalist Masego Rahlaga has been outside the struggle icon’s home this morning. She gives us a brief update on what’s happening there right now.

Mourners pay their respects to Mama Winnie.

Some of the buses from the house have already left for the stadium.

Speaking to SABC, Rivonia Trialist and ANC veteran Andrew Mlangeni says Farewell to Mama Winnie, "join the other comrades who have left before you".

Orlando Stadium is gradually filling up.

Even in mourning, singing and dancing are common among Africans as a way to celebrate a life, especially one of someone who had as great impact and was as loved as Mama Winnie.

[WATCH LIVE] SABC brings you live coverage of the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Mama Winnie made her last public appearance over a month ago.

The presidential convoy of black luxury cars transport President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy Pres David Mabuza. has already pulled up at the house. 

Sam Nzima, the man who took the iconic June 1976 photo of a dying Hector Pietersen, is also at the stadium. He speaks to SABC about the times he took photos of Mama Winnie.

Members of the public are advised not to interfere or join the military ceremonial proceedings en route to  Orlando Stadium and to the cemetery.

The hearse has already arrived at the house.

Flowers outside Madikizela-Mandela's house line the front yard and gate.

Today, South Africa, bids a final farewell to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as her funeral is held at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. She will be buried in Fourways, north of Johannesburg.

[MUST LISTEN] As #WinnieMadikizelaMandela is laid to rest today, EWN takes a look back at the remarkable life of the mother of the nation.