Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela dies after a long illness. She was 81 years old.
The Mail & Guardian reports that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died at the “Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday, April 2 after a long illness.”
Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape in 1936‚ she moved to Johannesburg to study social work after matriculating.
In 1957, she met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela and they married a year later and had two children together.
The marriage was short-lived‚ as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. Mandela was eventually released in 1990. The couple later divorced and Nelson Mandela went on to marry again.
Winnie Mandela was the face of the struggle against apartheid, along with Nelson Mandela, for as far back as I can remember. Her legacy was marred amid allegations that she ordered her bodyguard, along with others, to kidnap four youths from Soweto. The boys were severely beaten and Stompie Moeketsi was murdered on January 1, 1989.
Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to the beatings. She was given a six-year jail sentenced, which was reduced to a two-year suspended sentence on appeal.
She was also accused of murdering Dr. Abu-Baker Asvat, a family friend who had examined Moeketsi, at her house before the young activist was murdered. It is said that Mandela paid thousands of dollars and supplied the firearm used in Asvat’s murder on January 27, 1989.
Reaction to news Winnie Mandela dies:
The apartheid regime tried to break the strength this woman and they FAILED. You fought a courageous fight.
Rest in peace Mam Winnie Mandela ✊🏿♥️ pic.twitter.com/ZhLFIDD6vc
— Itumeleng Molapisi👑 (@Itu_Molapisi) April 2, 2018
The One and Only Queen from Buckingham Palace to Soweto, Mam Winnie Mandela endured so much pain, from being tortured, arrested, character assassination and being marginalized by so called comrades, “yet still I rise” #RipQueenWinneMandela pic.twitter.com/M5Ibf2IH6j
— Tbo Touch (@iamtbotouch) April 2, 2018
"There is no longer anything I can fear." – Winnie Mandela.
Rest in Peace, mama. pic.twitter.com/xfPfdgxXK3
— Zenaida Machado (@zenaidamz) April 2, 2018
Oh! Winnie Mandela is gone. Sleep well madam freedom fighter pic.twitter.com/4SFuMVeOWv
— segun adio (@segunvc) April 2, 2018
I would say RIP Winnie Mandela for the anti-apartheid stance she had during the apartheid era however, she was responsible for the murder, torture, abduction & assault of numerous men, women & children, as well as indirectly responsible for even more crimes in south Africa.
— Shuj (@ChocMilkSheikh) April 2, 2018
Good grief, the @SkyNews anchor has just said “she wasn’t without her controversies” regarding Winnie Mandela. This is a woman who the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission found personally responsible for murder, torture, abduction, and assault.
— Gareth (@GarethSoye) April 2, 2018