Members of the Rainbow Academy perform songs before the memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.  Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Members of the Rainbow Academy perform songs before the memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
Mourners at a memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA
Mourners at a memorial service for the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela held at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA
CAPE TOWN - A student activist on Thursday described how the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela helped her during her incarceration in 2016 following widespread protests over free education.

Speaking at a memorial service for Madikizela Mandela held at the St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, Lusapho Hlatshaneni said she read '491 days', the late struggle icon's memoirs describing her imprisonment by the apartheid regime in 2015.

"Little did I know that little, about a year, later after reading this book, I would be arrested as well," said Hlatshaneni, who described prison as "scary".

"Prison is a scary thing and Mam' Winnie strengthened me."


The student activist said Madikizela-Mandela's spirit would continue inspiring the youth to continue fighting injustice.

"She was so lit. I love her because she had a fire in her spirit, in her belly. She didn't care who she was talking to - she would just say her case," said Hlatshaneni.

"As we lay you to rest, we will continue fighting the fight you started because it hasn't ended."

African News Agency/ANA