South Africa mourns anti-apartheid veteran Sisulu

June 11, 2011 - 3:59 AM
South Africa Sisulu

A photo of Albertina Sisulu, wife of South African anti apartheid leader Walter Sisulu, is seen during a memorial for her in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, June 9, 2011. Albertina Sisulu, a leading figure during the struggle against apartheid by South African women, died at the age of 92. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — South Africans are mourning a woman celebrated for her role in the fight against apartheid, and for her nurturing of a new generation of leaders.

Crowds singing hymns and songs from the anti-apartheid era began gathering hours before Albertina Sisulu's funeral service Saturday at a 40,000 seat football stadium in Soweto. The service followed a week of national mourning. Officials of the governing African National Congress fanned out to every province to lead a series of memorial services. President Jacob Zuma, who is to deliver the eulogy, declared an official funeral — as close as possible to a state funeral reserved for presidents — "befitting for a leader of her stature."

Sisulu collapsed and died at her Johannesburg home June 2 at the age of 92.