JOHANNESBURG - The Orlando Stadium in Soweto has filled up as mourners gather for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s funeral service.
The programme at the 40-000 capacity stadium started at 9am.
WATCH LIVE: Mama Winnie laid to rest
The woman, known to millions as the mother of the nation, passed away last Monday at a Johannesburg hospital.
Buses have already started dropping mourners off at the stadium and more will depart from different parts of the province.
One mourner told Eyewitness News that Madikizela-Mandela was a mother to all.
“I’m here at the stadium to lay my mother to rest. I’ve been here since 5am to say goodbye to the mother of our nation.”
Meanwhile, Madikizela-Mandela's family gathered at her home early on Saturday morning, ready to make their way to the stadium.
Mara Louw, who is close to the family, said they were not prepared for her death.
“I guess we were not ready for this. I was not ready. I still hoped she would live longer. She was such a strong woman. She was in and out of hospital and every time we prayed. We hoped that she would be okay, but it’s God’s will.”
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(Edited by Shimoney Regter)
This article first appeared on EWN : [WATCH LIVE] Mama Winnie's funeral underway at Orlando Stadium