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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 12:51 GMT
Anti-apartheid stalwart mourned
Adelaide Tambo (file photo 2006)
Mrs Tambo was buried next to her husband in Tamboville Cemetery
South African political activist Adelaide Tambo, who died last month aged 77, has been buried in her home town east of Johannesburg.

President Thabo Mbeki and former leader Nelson Mandela led mourners, paying tribute to her fight against apartheid.

Mr Mandela said she was "an activist and freedom fighter" and "a mother to the liberation movement in exile".

She was buried next to her husband, the former president of the African National Congress (ANC), Oliver Tambo.

Thousands of people, including government ministers, diplomats and clergy, attended the service held at a stadium in Wattville.

She was a commanding general whose instinct told her to be nothing more than a foot soldier
President Thabo Mbeki

Addressing the congregation, President Mbeki said: "She was a commanding general whose instinct told her to be nothing more than a foot soldier."

Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, who delivered the funeral sermon, paid tribute, describing Mrs Tambo as "a woman of great dignity and courage".

Her son, Dali Tambo, said he would take comfort "on the shoulder of a nation in mourning".

'Dignity and courage'

Oliver Tambo led the ANC in exile while Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Like her husband, Ma-Tambo, as she is known, was a political activist and widely regarded as a mother figure to anti-apartheid campaigners in exile.

Later in life Mrs Tambo, a former member of parliament, became a campaigner for the rights of elderly people and the disabled, while remaining active in the ANC.

In 2002, she was awarded the Order of the Baobab in Gold - South Africa's top decoration - for her commitment to the struggles against apartheid and her work in the community.

She was also awarded the Order of Simon of Cyrene, the highest order given by the Anglican church for distinguished service by lay people.


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Nelson Mandela pays tribute to Mrs Tambo





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