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Winnie Mandela dead days after conflict in South Africa

Mandela family spokesman‚ Victor Dlamini‚ said: “She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.”-The Times

For many years, she bore the brunt of the senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism and fortitude. Despite the hardships she faced, she never doubted that the struggle for freedom and democracy would succeed.

She remained throughout her life a tireless advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalized. She was a voice for the voiceless.

In the coming days, as we mourn the passing of this heroine of our struggle, let us reflect on her rich, remarkable and meaningful life.

Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her life.

Today we have lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a comrade, a leader and an icon.-Cyril Ramaphosa -President of South Africa

My anti-apartheid activist mother Adelaine was often alone, showing solidarity, in the whites-only section of the public gallery. Once, when my younger sisters went with her, dressed in their primary school uniforms, Winnie bent down and kissed them, to the very evident horror and disgust of the onlooking white policemen, who spat and cursed. The very notion of a black woman behaving that way towards two blonde girls offended every apartheid instinct. But Winnie didn’t care.

She was indomitably defiant. Later, suffering so much and bringing up her own two girls while Nelson Mandela served his 27 years in prison, she was beaten up, banned, then banished to remote Brandfort in the Orange Free State, harassed and imprisoned too.

Who was South Africa's Winnie Mandela?

Her 80th birthday party in September 2016 was celebrated in Cape Town and attended by then vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa, opposition politician Julius Malema, and Patricia de Lille, the mayor of Cape Town.-Aljazeera

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