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Tutu: Madikizela-Mandela a defining symbol of anti-apartheid struggle

03 April 2018

After their separation she kept his surname and they maintained ties, leading to critics accusing her of attempting to use his name for political mileage.

Ramaphosa said that Madikizela-Mandela also had a great impact internationally and would be fondly remembered as a gallant and fearless person‚ as she was a beacon for the entire world.

"For many years, she bore the brunt of senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism", he said.

Madikizela-Mandela led an global campaign calling for his release.

She was jailed several times for her part in the fight against white-minority rule.

At the time of her death, Madikizela-Mandela who has fondly be known as "the mother of the nation", was still a member of South Africa's parliament.

"I was not consulted", she told CNN in June that year. "Over the course of a long career in the public eye, Ms. Madikizela-Mandela used her platform to advance human rights in South Africa".

This led to her being dubbed the "Mother of the Nation".

The couple divorced in 1996, two years after Mandela became president in South Africa's first all-race elections, with Mandela accusing his wife of infidelity.

But she was accused of endorsing brutal violence, including the "necklacing" of alleged informants with burning vehicle tyres, and was found guilty of kidnapping in the case of murdered teenage activist Stompie Moeketsi. At one rally she controversially seemed to endorse their use.

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The 81 year old anti -apartheid campaigner died after a long illness which saw her in and out of hospital since the beginning of this year. Madikizela-Mandela's chief bodyguard was convicted of murder.

Dakeb defended his position by referencing the murder of Stompie Seipei and other alleged blots on Madikizela-Mandela's record. Different witnesses have accused her bodyguards of having killed the young ANC supporter because they suspected he was passing information to the police.

Most of their marriage was spent apart, with her husband imprisoned for 27 years - with Winnie raising their two daughters alone while trying to keep his political dream alive.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe expressed condolences on behalf of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and urged those who loved her to celebrate her.

The woman who returned to Johannesburg in 1985 was much harder, more ruthless and bellicose, branded by the cruelty of apartheid and determined vengeance.

The statement from her family said that she passed away at the Netcare Milpark hospital in Johannesburg. "She chose a life of service and valour, qualifying as a nurse, and devoting herself to the struggle for African liberty", Uhuru said.

She appealed and was found guilty of being an accessory in the assault, and the sentence was reduced to a fine and a suspended prison term.

This dented her career, but she remained respected in the ANC, and was an MP until her death.

She joined youths and activists to redeem jailed activists.

Tutu: Madikizela-Mandela a defining symbol of anti-apartheid struggle