Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Dead: Activist Dies at 81

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid activist and former spouse of Nelson Mandela, died on Monday, April 2. She was 81.

The South African Broadcasting Company reported that Madikizela-Mandela was admitted to the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg over the weekend after complaining of the flu. A household spokesperson mentioned in a press release to Us Weekly that the politician, who additionally suffered from diabetes and not too long ago underwent a number of main surgical procedures, “had been out and in of hospital because the begin of the 12 months.”

“She succumbed peacefully within the early hours of Monday afternoon, surrounded by her household and family members,” the assertion continued. “The Mandela household are deeply grateful for the reward of her life, and whilst our hearts break at her passing, we urge all those that liked her to have fun this most exceptional girl.”

Winnie Mandela dead
Winnie Mandela WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Photographs

Madikizela-Mandela was married to Mandela from 1958 to 1996, although he was imprisoned for 27 years of their union for his combat towards apartheid. Whereas Mandela was incarcerated, Madikizela-Mandela grew to become his public spokeswoman and ultimately an activist in her personal proper.

Whereas campaigning for her husband’s launch, the so-called “Mom of the Nation” was arrested on quite a few events and as soon as spent 18 months in solitary confinement. The couple walked hand-in-hand out of Victor Verster Jail in Cape City when Mandela was launched in February 1990.

However Madikizela-Mandela was additionally a controversial determine as a result of she endorsed violence to advance the anti-apartheid motion. Her safety element, referred to as the Mandela United Soccer Membership, was behind many violent incidents, together with the 1989 homicide of activist Stompie Moeketsi. Madikizela-Mandela was convicted in 1991 of kidnapping and being an adjunct to assault in reference to the 14-year-old’s loss of life, however her six-year jail sentence was decreased on enchantment to a tremendous.

Madikizela-Mandela was elected president of African Nationwide Congress Girls’s League in 1993. The next 12 months, she was elected to Parliament and re-elected in 1999. She was convicted in 2003 on dozens of counts of theft and fraud, resulting in her resignation from her Parliament submit. Her conviction was later overturned on enchantment. She maintained a low profile within the years that adopted.

Mandela died in December 2013 on the age of 95. He made no point out of Madikizela-Mandela in his will.

Madikizela-Mandela is survived by the previous couple’s daughters Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, 60, and Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, 57.

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