A Tribute to the Late Apartheid Struggle Veteran, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Heartbeat actor Bill Maynard dies at 89 in March 2018

ITV Heartbeat actor Bill Maynard dies at 89 in March 2018

A prominent figure in the history of South African politics, Winnie's role during the long struggle to end apartheid saw her being thrust into the spotlight in the wake of Nelson Mandela's life sentence as she carried the heavy burden of continuing her husband's legacy.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has learned of the passing of Mrs. Winnie Mandela, the first wife of Nelson Mandela, who was instrumental in bringing freedom to South Africa.

In 1977 she was banished to the remotest village in Freestate for 5 years.

The SABC said she was admitted to the hospital over the weekend complaining of the flu after she attended a church service on Friday.

Even before they were separated by Nelson Mandela's long stay in prison, she had become politicized, being jailed for two weeks while pregnant for participating in a women's protest of apartheid restrictions on blacks.

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"On behalf of Netcare we express our deep sorrow at the passing of Mrs Mandela, the mother of our nation, a heroine and struggle icon, who devoted her life to the liberation of South Africa".

The mother of the nation, mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was surrounded by her family when she passed away on Monday. However, her controversial statements promoted violence and she was accused in a murder case and a convict in bank fraud case.

According to him, she remained a pride not only to the African woman, but indeed all Africans.

"We married in June of 1958, and by September he was already in jail", Winnie Mandela said in an interview.

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.

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Nelson Mandela sacked her from his cabinet, then divorced her.

Instead, she spent her dissident years in constant run-ins with the law, building a reputation as ruthless and violent towards those who did not support or tried to boycott the movement. And while this is true, Winnie was her own woman and a fiercely passionate one at that.

In a crackdown in May 1969, five years after her husband was sent to prison, she was arrested and held for 17 months, 13 in solitary confinement. Winnie joined the struggle against apartheid led by Mandela, she even worked as a hospital worker in the 1950s. But for the most part, she was simply Nelson Mandela's wife on paper. Their first home, No. 8115 on Vilakazi Street, also in Soweto, is today a museum that's a big drawcard for tourists from the world over.

"Together, hand in hand, with our boxes of matches and our necklaces, we will liberate this country", she told a rally, four years before Mandela's release. Madikizela-Mandela later became embroiled in disputes over Mandela's estate.

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