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South Africa Bids Farewell To Winnie Mandela

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South Africa Bids Farewell To Winnie Mandela

Crowds have gathered in South Africa for the funeral of the anti-apartheid campaigner, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Thousands of mourners have crowded into a stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, where the campaigner is being given a high-level send-off, reports the BBC.

Her casket was draped in the national flag, and her granddaughter Swati Dlamini Mandela read the eulogy.

Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela, died earlier this month at the age of 81.

A controversial figure, Madikizela-Mandela was lauded for her role in the anti-apartheid struggle.

But she was later shunned by the political elite for endorsing punishment killings for government informers.

Madikizela-Mandela was a social worker when she met her future husband, then a prominent anti-apartheid campaigner, in the 1950s.

They were married for a total of 38 years. For almost three decades of that time, they were separated by Mr Mandela's long imprisonment. They had two daughters together.

After Mandela was imprisoned by the apartheid regime, Madikizela-Mandela became an international symbol of resistance to apartheid.

She too was jailed for her role in opposing white minority rule.

To her supporters, she became known affectionately as "Mother of the Nation."

Image credit: EPA