Winifred Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, died April 2, Al Jazeera and several other news outlets reported from Johannesburg, South Africa, near where she lived. Winifred Mandela was 81 years old.
“She died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of the hospital since the start of the year,” Victor Diamini, a family spokesman said in a statement. “She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.”
When Nelson Mandela was sentenced to prison, Winnie, a social worker by education and training, became more active, leading the country’s anti-apartheid struggle in which she was sentenced to prison and fined.
Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 27 years for fighting against apartheid on February 11, 1990. The couple married in 1958 and divorced in 1996. She kept his last name and they remained friends. They were parents of two daughters.
A memorial service were held April 11. State funeral services were held April 14.