Zuma: Winnie a national hero deserving of official state funeral

Zuma: Winnie a national hero deserving of official state funeral

Zuma believes a state funeral is thoughtful, as it will afford Madikizela-Mandela a dignified sendoff as a distinguished person and former freedom fighter.

Visiting the home of the former anti-apartheid struggle stalwart in Soweto this morning, former president Jacob Zuma hailed the decision to accord Winnie Madikizela-Mandela a state funeral.

In August 2016, the Presidency made public the state, official and provincial Funeral Policy Manual, which determines and defines the categories as well as the manner and management of state-funded funerals in South Africa.

The manual designates five categories of funerals, namely state funeral, official funeral, special official funeral, provincial official funeral and special provincial official funeral. A few hours after the news of her death, Ramaphosa announced that a special official funeral would be given to Madikizela-Mandela with flags flying at half-mast.

Zuma told the media this decision was very thoughtful, as it will afford Madikizela-Mandela the most dignified sendoff by the state as a distinguished person and former freedom fighter.

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“We have lost a mother a leader a cadre of a special type. No one can doubt her contribution that she shortened the distance to the final day our liberation. To us, it is a deep loss, to us it is a pain for losing a leader. She has been jailed, tortured and exiled within the country and harassed perpetually. But she knew that she was a leader and must be exemplary.

“We are here to grieve with the family, to identify with the family like we did when she was still alive. We have just come to say to the family, ‘lalani ngenxeba’. We are going to be with the Mandela and Madikizela family until we say the final goodbye to her as arranged by ANC and the government,” Zuma said.

Zuma said it would be the kind of funeral Madikizela-Mandela deserves.

“She has been given a kind of funeral that she deserves, this is a national hero, and we must say goodbye in a manner that shows respect and dignity to the mother of our nation. Thank you to the family for allowing us to say those few words. We are together until the funeral,” Zuma concluded.

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