EFF holds its own memorial service for Mam’ Winnie

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The Economic Freedom Fighters will hold a separate memorial service for Winnie Madizikela-Mandela in Brandfort‚ on the same day the official memorial service is held for her in Soweto.

EFF leader Julius Malema will address the EFF memorial on Wednesday.

Mandela was banished by apartheid police to Brandfort in the Free State with her children‚ Zindzi and Zenani‚ in 1977.

The woman‚ often referred to as Mam’ Winnie‚ spent 10 years there. The venue of the official government memorial has not been finalised‚ but it is likely to be held at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto - where Mandela has lived since the late 80s.

The EFF's media statement did not give reasons why it would hold its own memorial service and spokesman Mbuysieni Ndlozi’s could not be reached for comment.

But Malema has been critical of the ANC's relationship with Mandela.

He criticised the ANC for not electing her leader of the organisation at an elective conference in 1977 saying they did not do so because she was a woman and they feared her.

Earlier in the week outside her house in Orlando West he said: “We know what Mama hated. We know those she did not want next to her because of the things they did to her. We will be monitoring them closely. We will whisper into their ears and if they don’t listen‚ we will call them out publicly."

“We [the EFF] are proud to be here because we never rejected her. We regarded her as our mother and our leader. We are here to say to the people of South Africa: the spear has fallen and we are here to pick up that spear and continue to fight. When we are here in this home‚ we are not visitors. We are the children of this home. We grew up here‚ we ate food here‚ slept here… we are not coming here because it is fashionable today to come here‚” Malema said.

The official state funeral for Mandela will be held on April 14.

Mandela died at the age of 81 on April 2.

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