Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is laid to rest
Struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park beside her great-granddaughter‚ Zenani‚ on Saturday afternoon.
Her burial ceremony followed a five-and-half-hours funeral service held at the Orlando Stadium a few kilometres from her home in Soweto.
The sudden downpour of rain over Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon did not deter the crowds who stood along the highways and roads leading to Mandela’s final resting place, while dozens of others were gathered outside the cemetery.
The country has been marking and celebrating the life and times of Mandela through memorial services and art since she passed away on April 2 at Milpark Hospital following a long illness.
During the funeral service‚ her daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini‚ President Cyril Ramaphosa and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema were among the speakers who paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela in front of a full stadium.
Malema urged the government to name the Cape Town International Airport after Mandela, saying it would be a fitting tribute, while President Cyril Ramaphosa Ramaphosa praised Mandela for her remarkable contribution to the country despite the difficulties she faced.
Mandela was buried alongside her two grand-daughters.
The burial ceremony was the third and final stage of the special official funeral that was announced by Ramaphosa a few hours after Madikizela-Mandela’s death on April 2.
A military procession took her coffin to the memorial park where she was buried with full military honours‚ including the sounding of the Last Post and the Reveille.
Members of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) removed the South African flag that had draped her casket during the service. The flag will be given to the family.
SANDF chief General Solly Shoke paid his last respect at the gravesite before the religious leaders took over the burial ceremony.
The chief mourner‚ Ramaphosa‚ was the first to throw soil at the grave of Madikizela-Mandela. He was followed by Deputy President David Mabuza and then the family members‚ some of whom put flowers on the casket.