Mandela’s Former Wife, Winnie Mandela Dies At 81


Mandela’s Former Wife, Winnie Mandela
Courtesy

Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela‚ a stalwart in the fight against apartheid‚ has died at the age of 81.

Her PA‚ Zodwa Zwane‚ confirmed the struggle veteran’s death on Monday afternoon.

“It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg‚ South Africa on Monday, April 2‚ 2018.

She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of the hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones,” the family said in a statement today.

The family will release details of the memorial and funeral services once these have been finalized.

Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape in 1936‚ she moved to Johannesburg to study social work after matriculating.

She met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957 and they were married a year later. They had two children together.

However‚ her marriage life with Mandela was short-lived‚ as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. Mandela was eventually released in 1990.

During Mandela’s time in prison‚, Madikizela-Mandela was not spared the reach of the apartheid forces. She was placed under house arrest and at one time banished to Brandfort‚ a town in the Free State.

In 1969‚ Madikizela-Mandela became one of the first detainees under Section 6 of the notorious Terrorism Act of 1967. She was detained for 18 months in solitary confinement in a condemned cell at Pretoria Central Prison before being charged under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950.
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