Farewell Winnie Madikizela Mandela

Thousands of South Africans have gathered at a stadium in Johannesburg to pay tribute to former anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who died at the age of 81 earlier this month.

On Thursday, The ANC Women's League held a memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Rockville, Soweto.

In her life and death, Mam' Winnie Mandela has been the face of struggle as a woman involved in politics. And she'd say: 'Darling, I don't think I would be able to sleep.

People say it's an wonderful thing that the woman affectionately known as the mother of the nation lived with them in the township of Soweto. "We came to mourn and at the same time celebrate that we have freedom", said Lucky Tshabalala, 37, a Soweto native and self-employed contractor.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, based in Houghton, mourns the passing of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

In the week since her death in a Johannesburg hospital, there has been a surge of support for the woman whose fearlessness and defiance helped bring end to apartheid but whose public image was tarnished by controversy.

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There was laughter - and tears - as speaker after speaker at the official memorial service recalled memories and sang her praises.

They sat alongside at least 100 VIP delegates, including Mandela's third wife, Graca Machel, on a black stage decorated with bright yellow and white flowers and flanked by two big screens.

A memorial was also held in the town of Brandfort where Winnie Mandela was kept under house arrest for eight years.

The late struggle stalwart will be laid to rest this Saturday in Orlando, Soweto.

He was speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela's home in Orlando‚ ahead of the arrival of her body. She was one of the country's greatest icons in the struggle against apartheid. Click any of these buttons below!

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