Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was also known as Winnie Mandela, passed away at the age of 81 last Monday.
The late politician died in hospital in Johannesburg following a long illness.
Mourners said a final goodbye to the late civil rights campaigner, as a military procession escorted her coffin out of Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
Naomi Campbell, who made an emotional tribute during the service, was unable to hold back tears at the official funeral.
Speaking about her friend, the supermodel said: “We are lucky to have witnessed her greatness, her courage, her fearlessness and her strength.
Let freedom reign, God bless Winnie Mandela.
“Let freedom reign, God bless Winnie Mandela.”
Her voice cracking with emotion, the 47-year-old continued: “May you rest in the greatness of the kingdom of God, next to the most extraordinary people. I love you. Thank you.”
The official state funeral, which included a speech made by her two children, saw military personnel and dignitaries wheel the casket – which had been draped in a South African flag – through the stadium.
Crowds gathered on the streets ahead of the service to say a final farewell to Winnie.
During the ceremony, where mourners from across the world had gathered, shouts of “long live Comrade Winnie”, “power to the people” and “the struggle continues” could be heard.
Winnie Mandela funeral: Naomi Campbell made an emotional tribute to her late friend
Winnie Mandela funeral: Naomi Campbell honoured the memory of her friend
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After the service, the late Member of South African Parliament was moved to her final resting place.
She was married to the late Mr Mandela for 38 years, including the 27 years he was imprisoned, before divorcing in 1996.
The 81-year-old shared two children, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, with the former president of South Africa.
Winnie became an international symbol in the struggle against apartheid following her then-husband’s imprisonment.
However, she was seen as a controversial figure in the anti-apartheid movement, and later considered “ruthless” by some.
Winnie Mandela funeral: The anti-apartheid activist was married to the late Nelson Mandela
Winnie Mandela funeral: A military procession escorted the coffin of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
Her death was announced in a statement from her family, which called her “one of the greatest icons of the struggle against Apartheid”.
The statement went on: “She fought valiantly against the Apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country.
“?Her activism and resistance to apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions, eventually causing her banishment to the small town of Brandfort in the then Orange Free State.
”She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces.
“She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the Mother of The Nation.”
Winnie Mandela funeral: The daughters of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela spoke at their mother’s funeral
“The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing, we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman.”
Shortly after her death was announced, state broadcasters aired her last ever interview again.
During the interview, she said: “I would be extremely naive if I suggested to you that South Africa today is what we dreamed of when we gave up our lives.
“We have extreme challenges. Political freedom without economic freedom is what has resulted in the challenges we face today.
“We come from a very brutal period of our history, a country that was segregated, divided into four categories, to transit from that era to where we are today has been a really painful journey… but the economy remained in the hand of the few.”
Read more here: Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feedhappy wheels
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