American civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson speaks to reporters outside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's home in Orlando West, Soweto. PHOTO: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

JOHANNESBURG - American civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson on Friday hailed the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a great mother who was also a freedom fighter and a liberator.

Jackson arrived in Orlando West, Soweto, early Friday to pay homage to the anti-apartheid struggle icon.

"She raised two children and mothered a nation for that 27 years when Nelson was in prison and could not speak or do anything. She was also jailed, banned...Winnie was a freedom fighter, a liberator and an emancipator," he told journalists outside the Madikizela-Mandela home. 

Jackson was at the home along with other dignitaries to receive Madikizela-Mandela's coffin as it made its way from the Kupane funeral parlour to her home.

"Winnie was a freedom fighter, a liberator, an imancipator.." - American civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson. MEDIA: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Madikizela-Mandela, aged 81, passed away on April 2, at Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital after a long illness. The revered anti-apartheid struggle icon is the ex wife of the late Nelson Mandela.

Her funeral service will be held at Orlando Stadium on Saturday and will be laid to rest at Fourways Memorial Park, north of Johannesburg, where her great-granddaughter Zenani Mandela was buried in 2010.

African News Agency/ANA