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People in Soweto have come out to line the streets in anticipation of Ms Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s body coming home for the last time. Thousands have lined up Mtipha Street where Winnie remained a resident until the last minute.

Michael Kekana, from nearby Diepkloof (DK), said it was a sad moment for Soweto and for South Africa. “I came for three things. Mama was a resident of DK. This is a prominent leader and I will not be at the funeral tomorrow,” Mr Kekana said.

Dr Buyi Majola, ANC Women’s League Chair: Greater Johannesburg, said she came to accept Mama’s body. “As much as we are here to pay our last respects, but also Mama’s last moment is to be accorded the dignity that she accorded people,” Dr Majola said.

She said when one led people respectfully, it is fitting that they must be with you until the last moment.

Dignitaries, Cabinet Ministers, politicians and diplomats have all been seen entering Ms Madikizela-Mandela’s home. The body will later be ushered into the house and there will be a prayer. A night vigil will be held at the Orlando Stadium.

The service starts at 09h00 on Saturday, and she will be buried at Fourways Memorial Park.

By Sibongile Maputi

13 April 2018