South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday paid tribute to late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for her great deeds in keeping the struggle against apartheid alive in the country while her fellow leaders were either at locked up on Robben Island or in exile abroad.
Ramaphosa was speaking at a wreath-laying ceremony for the late icon to mark three years after her death following an illness in Johannesburg.
Describing her as the “Mother of the Nation”, Ramaphosa said Madikizela-Mandela’s deeds “fired up the commitment and determination of many of our people to fight against the evil system of apartheid.”
“She did so at a critical time - during the course of our struggle when our leaders were either incarcerated or when they were in exile,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “She fired up the movement inside the country and gave strength and courage to many of us because she was fearless, determined and a quintessential activist.”
Madikizela-Mandela died on 2 April 2018 at a hospital in Johannesburg after a long illness.
She was laid to rest two weeks later at the Fourways Memorial Park in Randburg, Johannesburg.