By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) - Former South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been laid to rest in a state funeral on Saturday at Fourways Memorial park near Johannesburg.
Her casket, draped in the South African flag, was driven in a motorcade from the Orlando stadium in Soweto to the cemetery.
Madikizela-Mandela died on April 2 at the age of 81 after a long illness that kept her in and out of hospital since the start of the year.
Her memorial service that was held earlier in day was attended by thousands of South Africans mostly dressed in political party regalia. They sang and danced to celebrate her life.
African heads of states -- including President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso and Namibia’s President Hage Gottfried Geingob -- were in attendance.
British supermodel Naomi Campbell and American civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson were among some of the international figures who attended the funeral.
South African resident Cyril Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela spoke truth to power and what she endured with her incarcerations under the white minority rule known as apartheid could not break her.
“She was an African woman whose words defied the lie of apartheid,” Ramaphosa said.
The president praised her courage and selflessness in the fight against white domination.
Noami Campbell broke down as she paid her tribute in the fully packed stadium. She said Madikizela-Mandela was an epitome of courage and strength.
Madikizela-Mandela’s daughter Princesses Zenani Mandela said her mother rose against patriarchy and kept Mandela’s memory alive while he was in prison.
She was the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president. She was one of the country’s greatest icons in the struggle against apartheid.
Her activism and resistance to white minority rule, known as apartheid, landed her in jail on numerous occasions.
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