Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died, aged 81, on Monday 2 April 2018.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at the age of 81, after a long illness.

Tribute messages began pouring in for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela after news of her death broke on Monday, 2 April 2018.

According to a family spokesman, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the South African struggle icon and ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela, passed away at Millpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday 2 April 2018. The statement described Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as one of the “greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid” who “fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country.”

The statement also praised Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for the support she offered former president Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island:

"She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one its most recognisable faces. She dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the Mother of The Nation," the statement said.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was born Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela in the village of Mbongweni, Bizana, in the former homeland of the Transkei on 26 September 1936. She would go on the become an ANC Political Activist, the ex-wife of former President of the Republic of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, President of ANCWL and member of the NEC of the ANC.

Update: President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that Winnie Madikizela will recieve an official state funeral to be held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on 14 April. An official memorial service for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will be held at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto on 11 April. 

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Watch our video tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: