Dressed in black, as she was still observing the mourning period, Madikizela-Mandela smiled as ministers and MPs surrounded her to do their greetings ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s address.
Madikizela-Mandela, regarded by many as the mother of the nation, is an MP, but is rarely seen during National Assembly sittings.
Around her, the hum of loud and often animated conversations could be heard throughout the Assembly.
MPs greeted each other warmly with hugs, kisses and pats on the back as many had not seen each other since last year.
Colourful hats and bright colours, and some serious bling, appeared to be a hit with the women MPs, and even with some of the men.