The Methodist Church of Southern Africa held special services on Sunday in all of its congregations in memory of the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Madikizela-Mandela’s own spiritual home, the Wesley Methodist Church in Meadowlands Zone 7, was packed to the rafters after hundreds of congregants, some of which were bused in from other areas, gathered for a memorial service.
This was the church where Madikizela-Mandela had spent her last Easter Sunday worshipping with her fellow congregants.
As a member of the Women’s Umanyano, known for their famous red, black and white uniforms, Madikizela-Mandela was honoured by her fellow members with a heartfelt tribute.
In it, members referred to “Mam Winnie” as a peaceful woman who was dedicated to serving in her life, as well as the church.
“Thank you for all of your work. Whenever we needed anything she would be there to help, we thank her,” said a tearful speaker.
Reverend Refilwe Tawana reminded the congregation about the menacing apartheid police and their Casspir vehicles which would instil fear among even the strongest of men in Soweto. He said God would bring peace to those who were mourning Madikizela-Mandela’s death.
In attendance were several members of the ANC Women’s League. Hundreds of female members of the congregation donned black dresses and colourful doeks – the signature mourning attire which had women around the country wearing it in the struggle veteran’s memory.
The ANC will on Monday host a memorial at its headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.
Government will host a memorial service at Orlando Stadium on April 11, followed by an official funeral that will take place on Saturday.