President Cyril Ramaphosa told mourners that, in death, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has brought South Africans from all walks of life together again.

Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy at the funeral of South Africa’s struggle icon on Saturday. It was a funeral service attended by leaders across the African continent, prominent global figures and even opposition parties in South Africa.

While some might argue that amongst those were opportunists, Ramaphosa reminded South Africans of the reality that Madikizela-Mandela touched the lives of so many, across the board.

“We gather here to bid farewell to Mam’ Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela – a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a sister, a great leader who we have come to refer to as the Mother of our Nation,” said Ramaphosa on Saturday.

“Just as we are burdened by the sorrow of her death, so too are we comforted by the richness and profound meaning of her life,” added Ramaphosa.

He told South Africans that the pain mourners carried in their hearts could not be extinguished, primarily because of the manner in which she touched their lives.

“We gather here not only to pay our final respects to a great African woman, but to affirm the common humanity that, through her life, she revealed in us. Her life was dedicated to the unity of the daughters and sons of the African soil.

“Her life was dedicated to the unity of the oppressed of all nations. In death, she has brought us all together, from near and far, across many nations and continents, to mourn, to pay homage, to remember and to fondly reminisce.

“In death, she has demonstrated that our many differences along political party and racial lines and the numerous disputes we may have been eclipsed by our shared desire to follow her lead in building a just, equitable and caring society.”

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