South African anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Mandela has died aged 81, her personal assistant says.
Her PA‚ Zodwa Zwane‚ confirmed the struggle veteran’s death on Monday afternoon. She said the family would issue a statement later in the day.
The ex-wife of Nelson Mandela and apartheid icon has been ill for a number of years and was most recently admitted to Milpark Hospital due to a kidney infection.
The death was confirmed by Her PA‚ Zodwa Zwane today,this afternoon to be precise.
“It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital‚ Johannesburg‚ South Africa on Monday April 2‚ 2018.
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She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones,” the family said in a statement today.
The family will release details of the memorial and funeral services once these have been finalised.
However‚ her marriage life with Mandela was short-lived‚ as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. Mandela was eventually released in 1990.
During Mandela’s time in prison‚ Madikizela-Mandela was not spared the reach of the apartheid forces. She was placed under house arrest and at one time banished to Brandfort‚ a town in the Free State.