Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ‘Mother of the Nation,’ Mourned in South Africa

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ‘Mother of the Nation,’ Mourned in South Africa


On the same day, the Economic Freedom Fighters, a rival party headed by former A.N.C. Youth League president Julius Malema, held a separate memorial in the town of Brandfort, where Ms. Madikizela-Mandela was exiled in 1977 after the Soweto uprisings.

“Winnie Mandela is better than the government of the A.N.C. combined,” said Mr. Malema, who is seen by many as an heir to Ms. Madikizela-Mandela’s combative tradition, while speaking at her former home.

At the request of Ms. Madikizela-Mandela’s family, and despite objections from the A.N.C., Mr. Malema also spoke at the funeral on Saturday.

Calling his party “the sons and daughters” of Ms. Madikizela-Mandela, he leveled stinging criticism at the governing party.

“You were persecuted by the apartheid regime and disowned by your own,” he said, to cacophonous cheers. “You didn’t know that your organization had been rendered incapable of loving you back.”

“We know what they did to you,” he added. Then, addressing members of the A.N.C. who had been hostile to Ms. Madikizela-Mandela, he said: “We see you in your beautiful suits. Betrayers, we see you.”

Correction: April 14, 2018

An earlier version of this article misstated the year a 14-year-old boy was killed in the township of Soweto. It was in 1989, not 1991.



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