Ms Madikizela-Mandela denied any knowledge of any killings.
"As we continue to touch her wounds, we must be courageous enough to share her life and legacy across our society and with the people she loved".
"Even at the darkest moments of our struggle for liberation, Mam' Winnie was an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free", Ramaphosa said in a statement.
"Loudly and without apology, she spoke truth to power". Shortly before her death, we had a conversation about her concerns, her worries and her wishes. "She was our conscience".
Winnie's daughters, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and Zindzi Mandela, and grandson, Zondwa Mandela, are among the speakers at the funeral.
The service on Saturday for Nelson Mandela's former wife concludes 10 days of national mourning during which time thousands of people paid tribute to the "Mother of the Nation" at her Soweto hometown and other parts of the country.
Among the bouquets piled outside its gate, a new memorial bears the legend "I am the product of the masses, of my country and the product of my enemy", a 1996 quote attributed to Madikizela-Mandela.
"Proud, defiant, articulate, she uncovered the lie of apartheid", President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned throughout his tribute. "The contest has been shrill and depressing in equal measure", wrote Palesa Morudu, a publisher and writer, last week.
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"In a way we feel orphaned but their legacy lives on", said a Soweto gym worker, who had taken time off to visit Mandela's home.
"My mother was one of many women who rose up against a nuclear-armed state to bring us the peace and democracy we enjoy today".
She added that "praising her now that she is gone shows what hypocrites you are".
In 1991, Madikizela-Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault, but her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine and a 2 year suspended sentence on appeal. "In the midst of repression, she was a voice of defiance and resistance".
"She kept the memories of our father alive".
As the violence of the apartheid authorities reached new intensity, Madikizela-Mandela was drawn into a world of internecine betrayal, reprisals and atrocity.
"For those us who have been close to her‚ we have always appreciated just what she meant to the world".
Instead she remained embedded in the community where she met Nelson Mandela at a bus stop in 1957.
The end of apartheid marked the start of a string of legal and political troubles.
"She was one of the most profound leaders of the ANC", said 53-year-old mourner Brian Magqaza.