Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies aged 81

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a prominent anti-apartheid activist and the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 81.

Monday, 2nd April 2018, 4:39 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd April 2018, 4:45 pm
File photo dated Sunday, February 11, 1990, of Winnie with husband Nelson walking hand in hand upon his release from Victor prison, Cape Town (AP Photo)

Madikizela-Mandela was married to Nelson Mandela from 1958 to 1996.

Mandela was imprisoned throughout most of their marriage and Madikizela-Mandela's own activism against the apartheid regime led to her being imprisoned for months and spending years under house arrest.

Her political activism was marred by a kidnapping and assault conviction in 1991, for which she was fined.

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She faced these allegations again during the 1997 hearings before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel that investigated apartheid-era crimes.

As a parliamentarian after South Africa's first all-race elections, she was convicted of fraud.

Still, she was widely venerated in South Africa for her role in fighting white minority rule.