Winnie, Former Wife of South African Anti-Apartheid Icon Nelson Mandela, Dies

03 April, 2018, 04:20 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Activist Winnie Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, dies, aged 81

For this reason, the unlawful South African authorities banned her and made life very hard for Mrs. Mandela and her children, during the 28 years that Nelson Mandela was cruelly incarcerated on Robben Island.

The news came soon after "Mama Winnie" was taken to a Johannesburg hospital for treatment, said the Sun, quoting the relatives.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela was the former wife of South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Four years later, she was back in court, facing fraud and theft charges in relation to an elaborate bank loan scheme.

"Love her or judge her, we can not take away the fact that she had been an embodiment of complexities and she rose gallantry above the situation to carve a niche for herself". They had two children together.

The President noted that she was a woman of uncommon determination, steadfastness and perseverance who held aloft the torch of the struggle against institutionalised discrimination even while her ex-husband, the late Madiba, President Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.

"Today we have lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a comrade, a leader and an icon", said Ramaphosa, who was expected to visit the family home later on Monday.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at the age of 81.


"She was very fearless, she didn't fear anything, a very committed person to both the ANC and the ANC Women's League", continued the Rivonia trialist, who spent time on Robben Island for his efforts to see a democratic South Africa.

She nevertheless sought to remain in his orbit.

In April 2016, the government of President Jacob Zuma gave Madikizela-Mandela one of the country's highest honors: the Order of Luthuli, given, in part, for contributions to the struggle for democracy. And while this is true, Winnie was her own woman and a fiercely passionate one at that. She leaves behind two daughters. Her title as mother of the nation started her in Orlando.

Madikizela Mandela's reputation was further tarnished after she was sacked from Mandela's cabinet over allegations of corruption.

There was even a time when Winnie was forcibly removed from her home in Soweto and exiled to a small town called Brandfort in the Free State province.

Ms Madikizela-Mandela always was aware of the danger of being submerged in the shadow of her husband's all-encompassing personality. "Her cry was our cry, and in 2018 we can say we did triumph", said Ndebele.

In her book "100 Years of Struggle: Mandela's ANC", Heidi Holland suggested that Madikizela-Mandela was "perhaps driven half-mad by security police harassment".

She remained steadfast and unbowed throughout, emerging to punch the air triumphantly in the clenched-fist salute of black power as she walked hand-in-hand with Mandela out of Cape Town's Victor Vester prison on February 11, 1990. Madikizela-Mandela later became embroiled in disputes over Mandela's estate.

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