JOHANNESBURG– South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a struggle icon and former wife of nelson Mandela, deserved the people of South Africa. He says Mama Winnie never focused only on her family.

She emerged from all these torments emboldened, driven by a burning desire to give voice to the aspiration of her people; to give them hope, to give them courage, to lead them to freedom, the President said when delivering the eulogy for Mama Winnie at a state funeral at Orlando Stadium in Orlando, Johannesburg, over the weekend.

President Ramaphosa announced that the ANC’s highest honour would be bestowed on her. The ANC should award you the highest order of our movement and bestow on you ISITHWALANDWE because indeed you are one of those leaders who richly deserve to be awarded SEAPARANKWE/ ISITHWALANDWE,” he said.

“You have run your race, Mama, your forbearers await you. UMadiba is waiting to receive you, Mama Albertina Sisulu, and many others are waiting to welcome you.

As it was the wish of Mama Winnie, Ramaphosa announced that he and the leader of the opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters ((EFF), Julius Malema, will make a joint visit to Marikana in Nortyh West Province, where police opened fire on striking miners, killing 34 of them.

At your 80th birthday, you said you would take me and Julius Malema to Marikana to meet the widows of the departed miners, we could not go because you were not well. You are gone now; I am left to go alone, but I will be guided by your spirit and I know that Julius Malema will go with me, so that we can go and heal the wounds of the Marikana widows.

Malema has often accused Ramaphosa of playing a role in the police killing of 34 mineworkers at Marikana in the North West in 2012.

After the funeral service, Winnie Mandela’s body was taken to the cemetery at Fourways, north of Johannesburg, where she was laid to rest.