Nelson Mandela's ex-wife passes away at 81

03 April, 2018, 02:45 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Winnie Mandela former wife of former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg during the African National Congress 54th National Conference in December 2017

She leaves behind two daughters and eight grandchildren.

June 16, 1964: Her fist clenched, Winnie Mandela leaves Pretoria's Palace of Justice after the Rivonia Trial, a landmark in the struggle against apartheid.

In her final years, Mandela re-emerged as a unifying figure within the ANC.

'The years of imprisonment hardened me, ' she said.

"I didn't know how hard the path was going to be that was lying ahead of me".

Winnie continued with the freedom struggle until the release of Mandela on November 2,1990.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was the former wife of South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela.

Winnie Mandela, pictured in 2010 at the funeral of anti-apartheid stalwart and women's rights activist Fatima Meer.

They had two children together.

And although many South Africans called her the "Mother of the Nation", she would become engulfed in criminal convictions and scandals.

But her reputation got tarnished in the late 80s.

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But with husband and wife pouring their energies into the fight against apartheid, the relationship struggled before being torn apart after six years when Mandela was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. For Mandela and those who fought against apartheid government here on the South Africa soil, the ANC had relinquished its historical mandate to secure a full revolution in South Africa by being too conciliatory.

In 1991, after his release, she was charged with the assault and kidnapping of Stompie and one of her bodyguards was charged with his murder.

Some have even claimed Mandikizela-Mandela killed the boy herself. But her marriage was in shambles.

Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie Mandela passed away on Monday in the early hours, April 2.

They became known as the Mandela United Football Club.

Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was a Revolutionary and Mother of our Nation.

But her base of support, mostly downtrodden black women and youth, remained loyal. She was also accused of demanding money for construction contracts.

Her uncompromising methods and refusal to forgive contrasted sharply with the reconciliation espoused by her husband Nelson Mandela as he worked to forge a stable, pluralistic democracy from the racial division and oppression of apartheid.

She became an global symbol of resistance to apartheid and a rallying point for poor, black township residents who demanded their freedom. She was even banned from leaving home. Many South Africans admire her for that.

"Nobody can deny her extraordinary courage and that, for poor black South Africans, she remains a heroine". In 2009 and 2014 she was voted into the national assembly.

"For many years, she bore the brunt of senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism", he said.

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