'The pain you inflicted on her, lives on in us'

'The pain you inflicted on her, lives on in us'

Zenani Mandela-Dlamini had mourners on their feet as she defended her late mother's legacy.

Zenani Mandela-Dlamini

"Those of you who vilified my mother through books, on social media and speeches, don't think for a minute that we've forgotten," said Zenani Mandela-Dlamini to huge roars from the crowd at Orlando Stadium. "The pain you inflicted on her, lives on in us."

Debates on the legacy  of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have been raging on social media since the struggle stalwart's passing, with many describing it as complicated.

But Mandela-Dlamini believes the media has been 'directly complicit in the smear campaign' against Madikizela-Mandela.

She says many sat on the truth for years, and were only willing to speak out after she had passed. 

Mandela-Dlamini was referencing a documentary screened this week, which exposed the apartheid-era disinformation campaigns waged against the woman known as the mother of the nation.

Cyril Ramaphosa, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini
Winnie Mandela Coffin

Madikizela-Mandela's male counterparts were never held to the same standards, said Mandela-Dlamini.

"This kind of double standard acts also to obscure the immense contribution of woman to fight for the emancipation of our country for the evil of apartheid.

"I say fight, because the battle of our freedom was not some polite picnic at which you arrived armed with your best behaviour," she told the crowd in a rousing speech.  

She was followed by the EFF leader Julius Malema who says despite her own organisation being incapable of loving her, Madikizela-Mandela pressed on and fought for what she believed was right.

"Possessed only by your love for our people and the restoration of their dignity, in this fight you were persecuted by the apartheid regime, and disowned by your own," said Malema.

Other friends and family members have also paid tribute while President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to deliver the eulogy.

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