All has been said; let the healing start

An icon of the Struggle was laid to rest this past weekend in a final collective outpouring of emotion.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's place among the liberation heroes is secure.

No amount of mud-hurling will dislodge her now that she has passed away, especially since that couldn't be achieved by smear campaigns while she was still alive. Her legacy will live on forever.

As expected, there were fiery speeches made as the nation bid farewell to a much-loved figure who ordinary, everyday South Africans felt was one of them.

And that's why she was qualified to speak on their behalf, more than any other politician.

Two speeches that caught the most attention, largely because they were spoken from the heart, were those of Mama's eldest daughter, Zenani, and EFF leader Julius Malema - perhaps the only politician alive who can claim indisputably to have been closest to Madikizela-Mandela ideologically and otherwise.

Both Zenani and he were fully entitled to wear their emotions on their sleeves.

Predictably, talk everywhere has been about what the two had to say as they sought to build on the redemption of the phenomenon that was Winnie Madikizela-Mandela; a redemption that gathered speed each day after her death, exactly two weeks ago today.

The truth, as they say, shall set people free, and we are glad that some truths have today helped to clean the image of Mama Winnie - albeit a tad too late.

The confessions should have been made when she was still alive so that she could have had the choice to make her peace, or not, with those who had wronged her.

But, in conclusion, after the rabble-rousing and angry farewells, and perhaps befittingly so, a speech by President Cyril Ramaphosa called on us all to start the healing - to give reconciliation a chance.

It didn't make for great sound bites but the president has once again proved he is the nation-builder and reconciler we need right now.

He has, in his way, sought to be the glue that unites us while we seek to make good on the promise of greatness that this nation still holds.

We all would do well to lend him an ear - and a helping hand.

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