Malema mourns his 'political mother'‚ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

EFF leader Julius Malema addresses party supporters after visiting the family home of Anti-Apartheid Activist Winnie Madikizela Mandela in Orlando West, Soweto.
Julius Malema at Winnie Mandela home EFF leader Julius Malema addresses party supporters after visiting the family home of Anti-Apartheid Activist Winnie Madikizela Mandela in Orlando West, Soweto.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

EFF leader Julius Malema‚ who was close to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in her lifetime‚ has visited her Soweto home to pay his respects to the struggle veteran.

He vowed the red berets would attend her memorial service and funeral‚ scheduled for mid-April‚ regardless of whether the ANC approved or not. She deserved "a dignified send off"‚ he added.

"We don’t come here because there are cameras; we came here because this is our home‚" Malema said. "When we were expelled in the ANC‚ we came here to cry because we needed the comfort of a Mother and she was there for us . . .

"We are saying to the ANC we know Mama was your member but she also belonged to the Nation and so we do not need your permission to be here. We will also attend her memorial service."

He lashed out at those who were critical of some of her conduct‚ saying: "As a nation we have failed to defend her while she was still alive‚ I plead with the nation that we defend her now‚ so that we may always remember as the Mother of the Nation".

"When you character assassinate Mama Winnie Mandela‚ you character assassinate the black people‚" he asserted.

Julius Malema spoke to a crowd of EFF supporters outside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home on Tuesday, calling for protection of the fallen stalwart who died in Johannesburg on Monday.

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