Photos from Winnie Mandela's funeral in South Africa

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Tens of thousands of mourners at Orlando Stadium rose to bid farewell to the Mother of the Nation.

South Africa said goodbye to anti-apartheid icon and Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie Mandela with full state honours at a stadium funeral in Soweto on Saturday. She was married to Nelson Mandela, the first black president of democratic South Africa, for 38 years, 27 of which were spent apart from him during his long imprisonment.

Madikizela-Mandela was honoured with a State burial on Saturday that saw world leaders congregate to pay their last respect to the social worker who later became the face of resistance against apartheid.

She spoke out strongly against a dominated patriarchal society.

This debate has erupted as we mourn the death of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

"Faced with the most heinous of racist and discriminatory regimes, she helped lead the way in showing what it takes to overcome such tyranny - strength, defiance and courage", he said.

Madikizela-Mandela's legacy, however, was later tarnished. To many, she was loved as the "mother of the nation" even in her final days.

"She empowered us and taught us that you should never give up in anything that you do". Madikizela-Mandela's contribution to the struggle must be honoured as we rediscover her history, she added.

Supporters from all over, many clad in the ANC colours, flocked to attend the service. "We mention these instances just to make them aware, we know what they did to you", he said, claiming her detractors were weeping while failing to acknowledge their actions. I say "fight" because the battle for our freedom was not some polite picnic at which you arrived armed with your best behaviour.

At my mother's 80th birthday in September 2016, I said: 'One day, the story of how you fought back so valiantly against that bad and powerful regime will be told. My sister and I are doubly lucky, in that we got to call Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela our mother and Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela our father. "Like numerous great leaders of her generation she understood that the suffering she endured defined society", he said. "Zenani's tears revealed Mama Winnie's wounds".

After the end of apartheid, she continued to be a voice for the country's poorest and most marginalized people. Hers was a life of compassion.

"She bore witness to our struggling". He said apartheid and patriarchy could not break her. "She exposed the lie of apartheid".

"We should see to it that there are more and more Winnie Mandelas within our communities". EFF leaders encouraged their members to act with discipline during the funeral.

The casket was also draped with an ANC flag.

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