Thousands attend Winnie Madikizela-Mandela memorial service in South Africa

Former President Jacob Zuma greets ANC supporters outside late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Soweto

During her husband Nelson Mandela's 27-year incarceration, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela campaigned tirelessly for his release and for the rights of black South Africans, suffering years of detention, banishment and arrest.

In his meeting today, Deputy President Mabuza thanked leaders of political parties for their unwavering support and commitment to honour Mama Madikizela-Mandela and the conduct of various members of the public displayed at various memorial events taking place throughout the country.

"I used to ask her "Makhulu why don't you get a house near us or even stay for us for a few days" if my mother was away and she would say: "Darling‚ I don't think I would be able to sleep and if I do‚ I don't want to wake up next to my enemies"‚" said Bambatha.

African National Congress (ANC) supporters arrive at a memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg's Soweto township, South Africa on April 11, 2018. "I had the privilege of being the first grandchild they could raise after (Nelson Mandela) returned from prison".

It was however her grandson Bambatha Mandela who threw the spanner in the works‚ hitting out at her critics.

Tonight a memorial service is being held at Wellington's St Peter's Anglican Church, to commemorate the woman known as South Africa's mother of the nation.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma reported that government has since declared days of mourning from 3 April 2018 leading up to the funeral on Saturday, 14 April 2018.

During her old age, she re-emerged as a respected elder who was feted as a living reminder of the late Mandela - and of the long and celebrated struggle against apartheid.

Feasting ahead of fasting backfires on Congress, BJP calls it farce
The day-long protest was attended by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, along with several senior leaders- Mallikarjun Kharge, Sheila Dikshit, Ashok Gehlot.

"You decide to choose between the nation and your young children and it was a very hard choice to make", Ms Madikizela-Mandela said in 2013. When it happens every day of your life, when that pain becomes a way of life, I no longer have the emotion of fear. there is no longer anything I can fear.

One young woman who was named after Mandela flew in from the Eastern Cape just to be there.

But Mandela was also a convicted kidnapper and fraudster. She appealed, had the accessory charge dismissed, and paid a fine.

Ms Madikizela-Mandela steadfastly denied any knowledge of any killings.

AUT social sciences associate professor Camille Nakhid said Nelson Mandela was remembered because his then-wife Winnie made sure he had a voice, when others would have preferred him to be silent.

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, the political career that Madikizela-Mandela embarked on after the first free elections in 1994 floundered.

Her parents had to flee South Africa during the anti-Apartheid struggle.

"Was she a sinner or was she a saint?"

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