Expect some chaos at Winnie's funeral: Mantashe

Expect some chaos at Winnie's funeral warns Gwede Mantashe.
Expect some chaos at Winnie's funeral warns Gwede Mantashe.
Image: IHSAAN HAFFEJEE

It wouldn’t be Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral without a bit of chaos.

That’s according to Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe who was speaking on Monday during a memorial service for Madikizela-Mandela in Brandfort in the Free State.

“That’s Winnie's character‚ it was chaos.”

Madikizela-Mandela was banished to Brandfort from 1977 to 1986.

Mantashe said there was no reason to mourn Madikizela-Mandela’s death.

“Winnie has done everything that should be done by a human being. She has done everything.”

Mantashe said Madikizela-Mandela becoming the first black social worker showed she defied “all odds from a very young age”.

“She was the first black medical social worker. That is the first defiance of the odds‚” Mantashe said.

“She must invade the space that was actually reserved for men … She invaded the space that was preserved for white social workers.”

Mantashe said Madikizela-Mandela marrying former president Nelson Mandela showed her character and commitment to fighting apartheid.

“The decision in itself was a big decision‚ because she got married to the trouble itself … That is a major decision. It reflects the character of the person.”

Mantashe said Madikizela-Mandela was in the “belly of the beast” in the struggle against apartheid.

“Generals sit in [the] headquarters and develop the war plan. Then the commanders must attempt that war plan in the operation. Winnie was in that situation.”

Madikizela-Mandela died last week Monday at the age of 81 at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. She died after a long illness due to which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of the afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones‚ the family said in an official statement.

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