Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi says he knows no-one who suffered for South Africa’s liberation more than Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

Buthelezi is one of the many dignitaries who have converged on Soweto’s Orlando Stadium to honour the struggle stalwart.

The opposition leader who knew Madikizela Mandela and her late husband Nelson Mandela for many years reflects on their relationship.

“When she was still a very young bride… I mean I had many happy moments in the house, I could never come to Johannesburg without Madiba inviting me to dinner at the house in that way, we then happened to know each other very closely. And even when Madiba was incarcerated, some of the messages that Madiba sent to me were actually sent through her and sometimes when Zinzi, her daughter had seen her father she would pass messages to me,” says Buthelezi.

Meanwhile, Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has described the significance of government decision to stage both Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial and official funeral ceremony in Soweto.

The service is also attended by foreign diplomats and will be addressed by Deputy President David Mabuza.

Madikizela-Mandela has been lauded for making Soweto township her home and base of resistance at the height of the anti-Apartheid struggle.

 

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