12 Jun 2011

Albertina Sisulu praised by Mandela

9:47 am on 12 June 2011

Former South African leader Nelson Mandela has praised anti-apartheid campaigner Albertina Sisulu as ''the mother of all our people'', at her funeral in Soweto.

Mrs Sisulu, who died last week at the age of 92, was given an official state funeral on Saturday. The event was held at Orlando Stadium.

Mr Mandela, who is also 92 and increasingly frail, did not attend the service, but sent a message read by his wife, calling Mrs Sisulu ''one of the greatest South Africans''.

President Jacob Zuma also praised her as one of the most important figures in the fight against apartheid.

Albertina Sisulu was one of Mr Mandela's last surviving contemporaries. She was married to Walter Sisulu, Mandela's political mentor, who died in 2003.

Her daughter Lindiwe is defence minister, her son Max is the speaker of the National Assembly and another daughter Beryl is ambassador to Norway.