South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died aged 81. She and her former husband Nelson Mandela, who were both jailed, were a symbol of the country’s anti-apartheid struggle for three decades.
However, in later years her reputation became tainted legally and politically. She was born in 1936 in the Eastern Cape – then known as Transkei.
She was a trained social worker when she met her future husband in the 1950s. They went on to have two daughters together. They were married for a total of 38 years, although for almost three decades of that time they were separated due to Mr Mandela’s long imprisonment.
A family spokesman confirmed her death on 2 April, aged 81.
Her family said she had suffered from a “long illness” and had been in and out of hospital in the last months of her life.
“She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones,” spokesman Victor Dlamini said in a statement.