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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies aged 81


Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies aged 81

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former wife of the late President Nelson Mandela, has died at age 81.

South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died aged 81, media reports said on Monday (Apr 2).

She and her former husband Nelson Mandela, who were both jailed, were a symbol of the country's anti-apartheid struggle for three decades. However, in later years her reputation became tainted legally and politically.

Crowds of mourners and political figures flocked to her home in Soweto, in Johannesburg, after news of her death broke.

Family spokesman Victor Dlamini confirmed earlier on Monday that Mrs Mandela "succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones" following a long illness, which had seen her go in and out of hospital since the start of the year.

Madikizela-Mandela was known as the "Mother of the Nation" because of her struggle against white-minority rule in South Africa. She was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, including the 27 years he was imprisoned on an island near Cape Town.

The couple were divorced in 1996, two years after Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black President. They had two daughters together. Nelson Mandela died in 2013.

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