South Africans continue mourning the death of anti-apartheid campaigner Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who died yesterday aged 81.
The BBC reports that Madikizela-Mandela, a former wife to that country’s first black president Nelson Mandela, died yesterday after a long illness that had reportedly kept her in and out of hospital since January this year.
South Africa’s media also confirmed Madikizela-Mandela’s death with her personal assistant Zodwa Zwane and family members stating that she passed away on Monday afternoon.
“It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday the 2nd of April 2018.
“[She] was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid. She fought valiantly against the apartheid State and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country. Her activism and resistance to Apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions, reads in part a family statement posted on SABC website www.sabcnews.com.
According to the South African State-broadcaster, the veteran member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) was rushed to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg over the weekend after complaining of flu.
She is said to have earlier attended a church service in Soweto on Good Friday, despite her alleged deteriorating health due to diabetes which is said to have made her undergo several major surgeries. Media reports also claim that she had an infection that had affected her kidneys.
Meanwhile, there was no immediate reaction from the South African government as we went to press.