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STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA ON THE PASSING AWAY OF WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA

Following the passing away of Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in her 82nd year, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared national days of mourning from 3 April 2018 until 14 April 2018. The Special Official Funeral proceedings will be held at Orlando Stadium, Soweto, on Saturday, 14 April 2018. In terms of the President’s declaration, the official memorial service for Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be held at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Mkhize Street, Soweto, on Wednesday, 11 April 2018.

“’Mam’ Winnie deserves the highest respect our nation can demonstrate in honour of a patriot and citizen who served our nation and humanity at large with distinction during our liberation struggle and throughout our democratic dispensation,” President Ramaphosa said. “It is with a profound sense of loss and deep sadness that we have learnt of the passing away of Mam’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.  Even at the darkest moments of our struggle for liberation, Mam’ Winnie was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free.  In the midst of repression, she was a voice of defiance and resistance. 
In the face of exploitation, she was a champion of justice and equality. 

She remained throughout her life a tireless advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalised. She was a voice for the voiceless.  In the coming days, as we mourn the passing of this heroine of our struggle, let us reflect on her rich, remarkable and meaningful life. Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life.Today we have lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a comrade, a leader and an icon. 
President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared that the late Mam’ Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela - a recipient of the Order of Luthuli in silver for her “excellent contribution to the fight for the liberation of the people of South Africa” - will be honoured with a Special Official Funeral Category 1.