Winnie Madikizela Mandela, South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, has reportedly passed away.
Winnie died at age eighty-one (81) in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness on Monday afternoon, April 2, a family spokesman Victor Dlamini said in a statement.
Dlamini said in a statement: “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 statement added.
The late Winnie was born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape – then known as Transkei.
She was a trained social worker when she met her future husband in the 1950s and they were married for a total of thirty-eight (38) years, although for almost three decades of that time they were separated due to Mandela’s imprisonment.
The deceased played a key part in the campaign to end white-minority rule but her reputation became tainted legally and politically years later.