Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 81.
A veteran of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle, Winnie Mandela developed a reputation as an uncompromising opponent of the then-predominant racial segregation system.
She continued campaigning against apartheid well into Nelson Mandela's incarceration and was herself put behind bars in 1969 under Section 6 of the infamous 1967 Terrorism Act.
The anti-apartheid campaigner and second wife of the late Mandela, passed away after a long illness, her personal assistant confirmed on Monday.
She was married to Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and icon of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle, for 38 years, with Mandela spending 27 of those behind bars.
Born in a village in Bizana, a town in Transkei [now known as Eastern Cape], on September 26, 1936, to a history teacher, Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela moved to Johannesburg in 1953 to pursue studies in social work. "Their first date was lunch at an Indian restaurant near [Nelson] Mandela's law office. Sixteen years her senior, he was amused at her inability to eat the spicy curry," Stephanie Hanes, who covered South Africa from 2005 to 2009, writes in an obituary in The Washington Post. "She sat silently, wearing an uncomfortable borrowed suit she hoped would make her look more sophisticated than her 23 years, as a slew of advice-seekers stopped to chat with her well-known date. Later, as they walked through the countryside, Nelson asked for her help raising funds. Her sandal broke on the rocky path." She married him the same year, in 1958. The two were still married during Mandela's imprisonment from 1962 to 1990.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS