Thu, 18 Oct 2018

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela laid to rest

15 Apr 2018, 05:39 GMT+10

Shortly before 17:00 on Saturday, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela reached her final earthly destination as her coffin was lowered into the grave next to that of her great-granddaughter in Fourways Memorial Park Cemetery.

Her daughters Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and Zindzi Mandela each put a bouquet of white flowers on the coffin after it was lowered.

During the ceremony they sat next to each other, flanked by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy David Mabuza.

The private ceremony was attended by family, dignitaries and struggle comrades. Several prayers were said. A military bugle player sounded The Last Post and the Reveille.

READ: Political battles play out at funeral of the 'mother of the nation'

General Thanduxolo Mandela said a word of thanks on behalf of the family. He also thanked everyone who attended the service in Orlando Stadium, specifically the community of Soweto, which Madikizela-Mandela was a part of.

He said the family felt honoured by the heads of state - Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of the Republic of Congo, and Namibian president Hage Geingob - who attended the service and delivered speeches.

After the completion of the official state funeral service - which included speeches by Ramaphosa, EFF leader Julius Malema and Mandela-Dlamini in the Orlando Stadium, the casket was loaded into the hearse, surrounded by sobbing supporters.

The procession moved to Fourways, where members of the public braved the rain to line the street to catch a glimpse of the hearse. Many have been waiting there for hours, singing struggle songs. Most of the women wore doeks.

The crowd outside the cemetery cheered and ululated as the military personnel arrived at the cemetery. This reached a crescendo as the procession, led by police motorcycles, arrived.

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