Indications from Pretoria are that the remains of Winnie Mandela will be committed to mother earth April 14th, 2011. So says Cyril Ramaphosa, South African president for whom this is described as a difficult time and who has been speaking at different venues since the news surfaced. He also spoke of how this would be preceded by a State Memorial on April 11th. South Africans are slowly coming to terms with the death of Winnie Mandela yesterday, a passage for which there were no indications and for which people were least prepared. The South African nation is in mourning, a process involving TV and news channels being overwhelmed with condolence messages and lots of people in tears. It is the falling of a great tree, one of those who kept the Apartheid machine on its toes.
In a long story announcing the death of the former wife of national liberation politics icon, Nelson Mandela, The Washington Post, for instance, wrote inter alia: while other leaders moved to luxurious, previously all-white suburbs, Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela stayed in Soweto, the black township South of Johannesburg”. The paper added how, in many ways more than Mandela himself, “she epitomized the so-called “new” South Africa”, the type of claims that gives an insight to the complexity of the political personality of the late Winnie.
Mrs Mandela would remain an engaging personality for Historians, Psychologists, students of gender politics and of leadership types for a long time. Apartheid dealt with her more than any other of its victims – denied her the pleasure of settled family life by snatching her husband into prison and even afterwards. Her name could as well be Madam Indomitable. She fought all the way. Giving up was not in her vocabulary. Only death could unclench the fist, be it against Apartheid and even against the ANC as and when necessary. A snippet of her life has happily been preserved here and there. Unfortunately, it has been difficult for Intervention to upload some of such videos beyond the one below. This item would, therefore, continue to be updated: