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South Africa bids a final farewell to Winnie Mandela

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By Lesley Alexander
South Africa bids a final farewell to Winnie Mandela
Copyright  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

In a stadium filled to capacity, South Africa has said a final farewell to anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and family members led tributes to the ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela. She died earlier this month at the age of 81.

Also present at Saturday's funeral were former presidents Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, dignitaries from African countries and celebrities such as British supermodel Naomi Campbell and US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

The service in the Johannesburg township of Soweto closed with a violent storm, interpreted by the crowd as a blessing.

Winnie Mandela was a controversial figure. Allegations of violence tarnished her reputatation in life but in death she has been honoured as a national heroine.

with Reuters