South Africa struggle icon Albertina Sisulu laid to rest

09:15, June 13, 2011      

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A memorial service in honor of veteran South African anti- apartheid struggle icon Albertina Sisulu is held at the Pretoria City Hall in Pretoria, South Africa, June 9, 2011. Sisulu, 92, died at her home in Linden, northwestern Johannesburg on June 2. She was the widow of Walter Sisulu, another iconic South African struggle figure. Albertina Sisulu will receive an official funeral on June 11 at Orlando Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg. (Xinhua/Li Qihua)

By Ntandoyenkosi Ncube and Shao Haijun

JOHANNESBURG, June 11 (Xinhua) -- South Africa struggle icon, Albertina Sisulu, was awarded state funeral by the government of South Africa on Saturday.

People around South Africa started to gather at Orlando Stadium in Soweto from 7:00 a.m. At around 7:50 a.m, Military Veterans were marching and singing revolutionary songs.

South Africa National anthem was sang as everyone was standing.

After that, a clergyman prayed and school children burst into poems narrating the political struggle of South Africa.

Known in the country as "a mother of the nation", Albertina -- ruling party Africa National Congress (ANC) stalwart and widow of Walter Sisulu, a friend and mentor of former President Nelson Mandela died on June 2. She was 92.

"She was one of the strongest leaders that South Africa has seen," South Africa former deputy president and senior ANC member Baleka Mbete said as she took the podium at the funeral service held in Soweto on Saturday.

The service was attended by nearly 20 000 mourners. People flocked in numbers from South Africa's nine provinces. They representing various organizations including Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) translated "Spear of the Nation," an organization that represents South Africa's armed wing of the ANC.

A 23-year-old girl Peahi along with her friend Anse spent six hours minibus travel from Limpopo's Polokwane to Soweto for paying their sincere respect for the struggle icon and showing the belief that learned from the "a mother of the nation". They were only two of the thousands of people who have the same idea.

Several senior Africa governments' officials joined mourners. Among them were Zambia former president Kenneth Kaunda, Tanzania president Jakaya Kikwete, Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Egypt Essam Sharaf and Theo Ben Gurirab, speaker of the National Assembly in Namibia. A number of diplomats from embassies in South Africa formed part of the delegation.

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Source: Xinhua
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