JOHANNESBURG – Several thousand mourners have gathered at a stadium in Soweto for the memorial service for South Africa's anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who died April 2 at 81.
The death of Madikizela-Mandela, often called the "Mother of the Nation," has triggered widespread soul-searching over the legacy of one of the nation's most important fighters against the previous regime of racial discrimination. She also was dogged by scandals.
During the decades of imprisonment of her husband Nelson Mandela, Madikizela-Mandela helped keep the global spotlight on his plight and the gross injustices of the apartheid system. She became synonymous with the anti-apartheid struggle.
In the week since her death, there has been an outpouring of support for Madikizela-Mandela, despite the controversies surrounding her.