The coffin of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrives at the Orlando stadium in Soweto. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters
The coffin of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrives at the Orlando stadium in Soweto. Picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters
Mourners enter Orlando Stadium for the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, including various biker clubs. Photo: ANA/Getrude Makhafola
Mourners enter Orlando Stadium for the funeral of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, including various biker clubs. Photo: ANA/Getrude Makhafola
Photo: ANA/Getrude Makhafola
Photo: ANA/Getrude Makhafola
Soweto resident Queen Rametsi at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg to celebrate the life and legacy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, sweeping the street the hearse will follow to "purify" Madikizela-Mandela's way to her ancestors. Photo: ANA/Siphelele Dludla
Soweto resident Queen Rametsi at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg to celebrate the life and legacy of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, sweeping the street the hearse will follow to "purify" Madikizela-Mandela's way to her ancestors. Photo: ANA/Siphelele Dludla
Photo: ANA/Siphelele Dludla
Photo: ANA/Siphelele Dludla
Former president Jacob Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj arrives at the stadium. Photo: ANA/Getrude Makhafola
Former president Jacob Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj arrives at the stadium. Photo: ANA/Getrude Makhafola
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe arrives at the funeral. Photo: ANA: Siphelele Dludla
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe arrives at the funeral. Photo: ANA: Siphelele Dludla

Johannesburg - South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma was booed on Saturday at the funeral of anti-apartheid struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Thousands of mourners, including international guests, gathered at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto in Johannesburg to bid farewell to the woman dubbed the "mother of the nation". They sang struggle songs, at times seemingly becoming a bit too enthusiastic for programme director Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's liking.

When she acknowledged the presence of former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe the crowd cheered. But it was the mention of Zuma's name that clearly irked the crowds, especially those from the Economic Freedom Fighters, and they jeered and made hand gestures for the "change" sign normally used by angry fans at football matches.

However, the noise soon died down after a struggle song was started and picked up by those in the packed 40,000 seater stadium. Zuma, who resigned in February after the African National Congress recalled him, remained stoic in his seat as if nothing had happened.

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Madikizela-Mandela has been given a special official funeral after she died unexpectedly on Easter Monday. She was 81. Her funeral has seen a number of political parties coming together to celebrate her life despite their differences.

EFF leader Julius Malema will deliver a tribute at the funeral and President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy before the funeral procession leaves for Fourways Memorial Park for the private burial. 

African News Agency/ANA