The African National Congress (ANC) struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died.
She was 81.
Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg in the early hours of Monday afternoon.
She passed on after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the beginning of the year.
Her family said in a statement that Madikizela-Mandela succumbed peacefully surrounded by her family and loved ones.
Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against Apartheid.
Born in Bizana, South Africa, in 1936, Winnie Mandela embarked on a career of social work that led to her involvement in activism.
She married ANC leader Nelson Mandela in 1958, though he was imprisoned for much of their four decades of marriage.
Winnie Mandela became president of the ANC Women’s League in 1993, and the following year she was elected to Parliament
Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against Apartheid.
Referred to as the Mother Of The Nation, she fought valiantly against the Apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country.
Her activism and resistance to Apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions‚ eventually causing her banishment to the small town of Brandfort in the then Orange Free State.
She kept the memory of her detained spouse Nelson Mandela alive amid his years on Robben Island and helped give the Struggle for equity in South Africa one its most conspicuous appearances.
The Mandela family said they are profoundly grateful for the gift of her life, saying even as their souls break at her passing‚ they encourage every one of who cherished her to celebrate this most wonderful lady.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced Madikizela Mandela will be offered a state funeral on April 14.