Mourners dressed in the colours of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), as well those of the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), sang "there's no one like Winnie", an adapted popular liberation struggle song. People could be forgiven if they thought it was a "man's struggle and a man's triumph". Nothing could be further from the truth.
The official funeral service for the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela was taking place on Saturday morning in Soweto - a Johannesburg township at the forefront of the battle against apartheid where she lived.
"You show that we can be handsome, powerful and revolutionary - even as we challenge the lies that have been peddled for so long". It was Winnie who was courageous enough to say that Mandela sold out.
To a crowd shouting "Bua!"
Thousands of mourners packed the 40,000-seat Orlando Stadium in Soweto to celebrate the powerful figure who will be buried as a national hero, after lively debate over how she should be remembered after her death on April 2 at the age of 81.
"Mama Winnie and her spirit must be with us all the time". She was later cleared for his death.
"We are here to celebrate and mourn, not open up old wounds". He recently said there was no evidence linking Winnie to the murder.
"She never stopped fighting".
"All those who resigned from the NEC of the women's league because they said they can't be led by a criminal they are here playing all important roles at your funeral, can we trust them or should we treat them with suspicion ma Winnie?", he said to loud cheers from thousands of mourners who attended the funeral. "And what is amusing mama is that they are crying the loudest" said Malema.
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Madikizela-Mandela was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, including the 27 years he was imprisoned on an island near Cape Town.
"You were persecuted by the apartheid regime and disowned by your own", he said, to cacophonous cheers.
"My mother was one of many women who rose up against a nuclear-armed state to bring us the peace and democracy we enjoy today".
The EFF president assured Winnie's children that none of them would be "treated like they have leprosy" while he is still alive.
- Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's daughterTo those of you who vilified my mother through books, social media and speeches, don't think for a minute we've forgotten.
"Unlike many of those who imagined a contested legacy between my mother and my father we do not have that luxury because they are our parents".
She further implored Madikizela-Mandela's supporters not to be tempted to discount her father‚ Nelson Mandela‚ and that people should accept that they complimented each other.
Many memorialising Ms Madikizela-Mandela have recognised her as a political force in her own right.