South Africans on Tuesday mourned the passing of the anti-apartheid stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Madikizela-Mandela died on Monday at a private hospital after a long illness.
She was married to the late South African President Nelson Mandela.
Many from government, private sector and civil society described Madikizela Mandela as a brave, courageous and true hero of South Africa’s liberation.
South African former President Thabo Mbeki described Madikizela Mandela as an outstanding militant and leader of the struggle for liberation.
Madikizela-Mandela served as the Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology and as a member of Parliament.
She was also the former ANC Women’s League president.
National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union which represents social workers and other health workers also mourned Madikizela Mandela.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said said Mdikizela-Mandela will receive an official state funeral on April 14.
Also, the Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota said: “I received with shock and great sadness the news of Winnie Madikizela’s passing.
“She is an outstanding symbol and champion of racial and gender issues.
“She is an inspiration to all South Africans – to stand up and emulate the strength and audacity with which she fought for the rights of people in this country. May God let her rest in peace.”
‘A liberation stalwart of epic stature’
In another message, the Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane said: “It is a deeply sad occasion for the people of South Africa.
“This was someone who has run an incredible race. It is not only us as South Africans, but the continent as well as the global village, that have experienced a loss.”
Maimane extended his condolences to the family.
Other politicians took to social media platforms to express their sadness over Madikizela-Mandela’s death.
The Inkatha Freedom Party’s Mkhuleko Hlengwa tweeted: “A sad loss indeed… May #WinnieMandela now rest in God’s perfect peace.
Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize tweeted: “#WinnieMandela “Struggle Icon, freedom fighter, Mother of our nation … May her soul rest in eternal peace.”
Zelda la Grange, the former private secretary to Nelson Mandela, also sent her sincere condolences.
“They say life can never be the same after the death of one’s mother, irrespective of your relationship with her.”
La Grange said South Africans had lost a mother today.