President Cyril Ramaphosa had his audience in stitches yesterday while delivering a eulogy about Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, describing how enamoured he had always been with her.
Speaking at a provincial memorial service in Bizana in the Eastern Cape, Ramaphosa remarked about the beauty of Madikizela-Mandela, and her female relatives in the rural home.
“She always said she wanted to bring me here, she wanted me to see the place where she was born and I agreed. I said I wanted to go where you were from and to see if there are people as beautiful as you are,” he began, to a laughing audience.
“I was always telling her each time I met her, I would say ‘Mama you are so beautiful’ and I even said what’s unfortunate is that I was too young at the time. If I was there around the time that Madiba was there, and met you, I would have competed with him.
“So, now that I am here, I see that, indeed, that the beauty that Mam’ Winnie always had in her life is duplicated and replicated many times by the many beautiful women that I see here in Bizana.”
But Ramaphosa reminded mourners of Madikizela-Mandela’s anti-patriarchal sentiments, which he urged South Africans to emulate.
Ramaphosa asked that men in the country denounce patriarchal attitudes and behaviour towards women, adding that Madikizela-Mandela was happy with some of the resolutions made at the ANC’s national congress in this regard.