South African Federation of Trade Unions Mourn Winnie Mandela

Winnie Mandela's Death A Huge Loss To Africa – Buhari

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

February 11, 1990, anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela raise fists upon Mandela release from Victor Verster prison in Paarl.

The couple were divorced in 1996, two years after Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black President. I pass my condolences to her friends, family and the ANC. She will always be an inspiration for future generator of women revolutionaries.

Adding to this was ANC Elections Head, Fikile Mbalula, who expressed shock at her passing and said Madikizela Mandela "embodied strength, resistance and an undying spirit of love for freedom".

Moeketsi, who was accused being an informer, was murdered by her bodyguards in 1989.

After Mandela's death, however, she became involved in disputes over his inheritance.

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On his 80th birthday, Nelson Mandela married Graca Machel.

On Monday, Ramaphosa praised Madikizela-Mandela as "an advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalized" and "a voice for the voiceless".

The 22-year-old Winnie caught the eye of Mandela at a Soweto bus stop in 1957, starting a whirlwind romance that led to their marriage a year later.

"Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists", said Mr Tutu.

Leading the tributes, anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu described her as "a defining symbol" of the battle against oppression.

"Somewhere it seems that something went wrong", magistrate Peet Johnson said as he sentenced her to five years in jail, later overturned on appeal.

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A year later, she joined parliament as a deputy minister of arts and culture under Nelson Mandela's presidency - who subsequently dismissed her for insubordination.

Outside Africa, Madikizela-Mandela was known largely because of her ex-husband, but in South Africa she was the mouthpiece and face of the bitter struggle against the racist regime.

She was detained for 18 months in solitary confinement in a condemned cell at Pretoria Central Prison before being charged under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950.

Years later, she clashed with the next president, Jacob Zuma, becoming a political patron of renegade ANC youth leader Julius Malema, who quit the century-old movement to found his own ultra-leftist political party.

While Mandela was held at the Robben Island penal settlement, off Cape Town, where he spent most of his 27 years in jail, Madikizela-Mandela acted as the main conduit to his followers.

"We can't get exhausted when you have given us work to do‚" Ramaphosa said, paying fulsome praise to her appearance.

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In her book "100 Years of Struggle: Mandela's ANC", Heidi Holland suggested that Madikizela-Mandela was "perhaps driven half-mad by security police harassment".

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