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South African anti-apartheid activist, Winnie Mandela dead

South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former wife of Nelson Mandela, Winne Mandela has died at age 81.

Her death was confirmed by her Personal Assistant Zodwaa Dwane. The anti-apartheid campaigner is reported to have died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year.

Born in Bizana in 1936, Winnie Mandela married Nelson Mandela in 1958, a year after they met. Even though their marriage was short-lived after they divorced in 1996, she made a huge impact in the fight for the country’s democracy.

Winnie Mandela is also remembered for her famous walk with South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela after his release from prison in 1990.

They had two children together.

In 2016, she received the Order of Luthuli, one of the country’s highest honours, from the government in recognition for her contribution to South Africa’s struggle for democracy. 

South Africa has lost a freedom fighter. 

April 2, 2018

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