Johannesburg, 2 April 2018; South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former of wife of late South African Nelson Madiba Mandela has died aged 81, at Johannesburg Hospital after battling for a long illness her spokesperson has confirmed. “She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones,” said the statement issued by her spokesperson.
The ex-wife of Nelson Mandela was known as “mother of the nation” and had been admitted to hospital in January with a kidney infection. Her family said she “kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces.”
The young activist met Nelson Mandela met Winnie at a bus stop in Soweto when she was 22 in 1957 and the pair married a year later. Their romance lasted 38 years that was largely spent apart, with Nelson imprisoned for 27 years, leaving Winnie to raise two daughters and keep his political dream alive. In 1990 the world watched when Nelson Mandela finally walked out of prison — hand-in-hand with Winnie.
However, the pair separated just two years later and divorced in 1996 after a legal wrangle that revealed her affair with a young bodyguard and she went on to become embroiled in several major controversies.
Nevertheless, she remained a member of the struggle movement the ANC, since 1994 African National Congress Party has taken over and became the powerful political party. Late Nelson Mandela ruled for one term and step down due old age, since then, the liberation movement has seen scandals and most of the worse was in the recent months when the MPs from the ruling ANC party dragged the sitting President Jacob Zuma out of office accusing him of gross embezzlements.