Published On: Mon, Apr 2nd, 2018

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Ex-Wife Of Nelson Mandela, Dies At 81

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Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of South Africa’s anti-apartheid fighter and former president Nelson Mandela, died aged 81 on Monday at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg following a long illness.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Ex-Wife Of Nelson Mandela, Dies At 81

Born as Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela on 26 September 1936 in Mbongweni village (now known as Eastern Cape), she played key role in the campaign to end white-minority rule in South Africa and was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, but most of their marriage was spent apart.

Nelson Mandela had spent 27 years in prison and was released in 1990, when he was seen walking out of prison holding hand of Winnie.

Two years later the two were separated and divorced in 1996 alleging she had affair with a young bodyguard.

She met Nelson Mandela at the age of 22 at a bus stop in Soweto. Both were married in June 1958.

It was second marriage of Nelson Mandela after which had had to go underground, pursued by the apartheid authorities.

Later, in the same year Winnie was arrested while protesting against the pass system, which was a restriction of black in white-designated areas.

In 1964 Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment.

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- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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