South Africa: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies
02 Apr 2018

Anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at 81 following an illness.

The former wife of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela, Winnie put up a notable fight against apartheid, and was considered as “the Mother of the Nation” by some. Her life, however, was also dogged by controversy.

Winnie faced allegations of corruption, and also appeared in court over fraud and theft charges regarding a bank loan scheme.

She was sentenced to five years in jail, but the conviction was later overturned on appeal. She reportedly claimed she did not know of the fraud.

She was also convicted over the killing of 14-year old activist Stompie Seipei, an allegation she denied. The sentence was reduced to a fine.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said: “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.

“Today we have lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a comrade, a leader and an icon.”

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