South Africa to memorialize Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with national funeral

PHOTO: Africa National Congress stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela is greeted by Women League supporters gathered in Soweto to celebrate her 80th birthday, Sept. 26, 2016.PlayMarco Longari/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
WATCH South Africa's Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies

The South African government will honor Winnie Madikizela-Mandela with an official national funeral.

The anti-apartheid icon, who was married to Nelson Mandela for 37 years, died in a hospital Monday after being admitted for a recurring kidney infection.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that she will be laid to rest at a state funeral on April 14. A national memorial service will be held three days earlier.

PHOTO: President Nelson Mandela is accompanied by his then wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison near Paarl, South Africa, Feb. 11, 1990. Ulli Michel/Reuters, FILE
President Nelson Mandela is accompanied by his then wife Winnie, moments after his release from prison near Paarl, South Africa, Feb. 11, 1990.

Speaking outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home on Soweto’s Vilakazi Street‚ Ramaphosa said the country lost a leader and an icon.

“There will be many other memorial functions across the country‚ in almost every province‚” said Ramaphosa. “We would like to express our gratitude and our thanks to many across the country and the world who are wishing us well‚ who are wishing her movement well.”

PHOTO: Africa National Congress stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela is greeted by Women League supporters gathered in Soweto to celebrate her 80th birthday, Sept. 26, 2016. Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images, FILE
Africa National Congress stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela is greeted by Women League supporters gathered in Soweto to celebrate her 80th birthday, Sept. 26, 2016.

In a statement, Ramaphosa described Madikizela-Mandela as a voice for the voiceless.

“In the coming days, as we mourn the passing of this heroine of our struggle, let us reflect on her rich, remarkable and meaningful life,” she said. “Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life.”