South African government says Mandela's name under consideration for Cape Town airport rename.
The anti-apartheid activist and politician Winnie Mandela, who died on 2 April aged 81, is among a list of candidates being considered for the renaming of Cape Town International Airport, according to a spokesperson from South Africa's transport ministry.
The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) has reportedly been in negotiations with the transport ministry since March, after transport minister Blade Nzimande directed the authority to rename Cape Town International after one of the country's “liberation icons”.
Known to her supporters as the "Mother of the Nation", Winnie Mandela's name was among the list along with her former husband Nelson Mandela - who died in 2013 - and Albertina Sisulu and Robert Sobukwe.
The call for Cape Town's airport to renamed after Winnie Mandela was announced during her funeral in Johannesburg by the controversial politician Julius Malema, who was mentored by Mandela before breaking away from the African National Congress (ANC) to form the Economic Freedom Fighters, a far-left and racial nationalist South African political party.
Malema's call was quickly picked up by social media campaigns and the Cape Town International Airport's online Wikipedia entry was amended immediately to the name of the struggle icon.
There were tensions during the funeral ceremony - attended by more than 40,000 mourners at Orlando Stadium in the township of Soweto - between Mandela's supporters and the ANC, on whose executive committee Mandela once served as well as heading its Women's League.
Adopting the surname Madikizela-Mandela following her divorce in 1996, she was never far from controversy and had a long-strained relationship with the ANC. During South Africa's difficult post-apartheid transition, she adopted a blatantly hostile attitude towards white South Africans, differing from her former husband's conciliatory approach.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a restorative justice body set up after the abolition of apartheid in 1994, found her “responsible, by omission, for the commission of gross violations of human rights”, through the actions of her bodyguards. During the commission she was accused of ordering the murder of a 14-year-old boy in Soweto in 1989, and in 2003 she was convicted on 43 counts of fraud and 25 of theft.
However in 2007 Madikizela-Mandela returned to the ANC fold, and in 2009 she secured fifth place on the party's electoral list for the general election, behind party president Jacob Zuma.
Since her death the ANC has made concerted efforts to be associated with the firebrand politician it once strove to keep at arm's lenghth. However during a defiant tribute at her funeral, her daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini made a thinly-veiled reference to the ANC, saying: “To those of you who vilified my mother, don’t think for a minute that we’ve forgotten.”
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is buried at a cemetery in Fourways in the north of Johannesburg.