Winnie Mandela, anti-apartheid icon, dies at 81

image: Reuters/SABC


South African anti-apartheid activist, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has died at the age of 81.

She and her ex-husband, former South African president Nelson Mandela, were symbols of the country’s anti-apartheid movement.

She met Mandela, who was leading resistance against the all-white government, in Johannesburg. The couple married in 1958.

She continued to resist the apartheid system that was based on white supremacy after her husband was jailed by the authorities in 1963.

She fought for the end of apartheid and the release of her husband from prison.

The couple appeared hand-in-hand before supporters in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was finally released after 27 years in prison. Loud applause erupted when the two raised their fists.

After Nelson Mandela became president, the couple divorced.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela remained as a symbol of decades of anti-apartheid struggle even after she was convicted of crimes.

Reuters and other media outlets say that she died on Monday at a hospital in Johannesburg. She had been in and out of hospital.

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