South African Government Hosts National Funeral For Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Rodin Eckenroth  FilmMagic                       Actress Terry Pheto

Rodin Eckenroth FilmMagic Actress Terry Pheto

However, her reputation suffered a serious blow afterwards following some allegations of violence.

She became a member of South Africa's parliament but the scandals saw her sharply criticised by the African National Congress, which leads the country and which her late ex-husband led for years after his release from prison. Mourners continue to gather at her Soweto home to honor the anti-apartheid fighter.

The video above, from the 1980s, shows the ferocity and passion with which she championed her cause.

Madikizela-Mandela, who has been accorded a state funeral, will be buried on April 14. "Her dedication to the plight of her people gained her the love and the respect of the nation", he said. I recall, for instance, when some leaders of the UDF disowned her.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday described Madikizela-Mandela's death as a huge loss to Africa.

She died in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness.

He said that her husband's incarceration for 27 years did not deter her, adding that she rather picked up the gauntlet and continued the struggle where her husband and other apartheid fighters left it.

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Glamorous and tough, she played a high-profile role in the battle to end repressive white-minority rule. Admittedly, eyebrows were raised when she endorsed "necklacing" - burning the betrayers of the anti-apartheid struggle by setting alight a tyre around their necks.

In 1986, she was widely linked to "necklacing", the burning alive of suspected traitors who had flaming, petrol-soaked tyres forced over their heads.

However, Madikizela-Mandela's political activism was marred by her conviction in 1991 for kidnapping and assault, for which she was fined.

"You do realize that Winnie Mandela was a murdering communist who tortured people to death", wrote Peter Sweden.

- 2003-2004: Convicted of fraud, with a suspended jail sentence. "I don't think history. history has had some great women, and she was definitely one of them".

Retired archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu praised her as a "defining symbol of the struggle against apartheid". "Condolences to her close family and friends".

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