Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Mandela is Dead

A page from a Department of Arts and Culture presentation on the Winnie Mandela museum project

A page from a Department of Arts and Culture presentation on the Winnie Mandela museum project

Her family was by her side‚ family spokesman Victor Dlamini said.

In 1992, the Mandelas separated, and then divorced in 1996, after a legal wrangle that revealed she had an affair with a young bodyguard.

But they turned into thugs who so terrorized the black township of Soweto that people set ablaze Madikizela-Mandela's home there, according to an autobiography by ANC veteran Amina Cachalia and other accounts.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela (C), ex-wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela, smiles as she arrives for the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Johannesburg, South Africa, December 16, 2017.

Having read and listened to the many comments since her passing on Monday, it became clear to me that some people either do not know history or they have selective amnesia. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission found her culpable in the murder of Seipei while Nelson eventually cut her loose.

"I would be extremely naive if I suggested to you that South Africa today is what we dreamed of when we gave up our lives ..." She died in Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday, following a long illness. She was there when children lay lifeless in their mothers' arms; she went to the funerals of people no one had ever heard of, and marched with the masses as they raised their fists against the apartheid state. "She led men and women", Mantashe told journalists after visiting her home in Orlando West, Soweto. As she is eulogized, there will be many who point to her perceived failures.

We have Mandela day, where we celebrate Nelson Mandela's birthday.

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Mandela died Monday, April 1, at the age of 81. She will forever remain one of the astounding activists and embodiment of ANCWL values that we will always refer to in the struggle against emancipation of women. We only heard she wanted to light tyres around harmless white God-fearing necks.

On February 11, 1990, she gave the clenched-fist salute of black power as she walked hand-in-hand with Mandela out of Cape Town's Victor Verster prison.

Socialist Worker opposed her actions but also wrote at the time, "The apartheid state, still dripping with the blood of black people, has no right to pass judgement on Winnie Mandela".

During her almost 38-year marriage to Mandela, she fought against white-majority rule even as she vowed to escape the shadow of the great man. In an infamous 1986 speech she threatened "no more peaceful protests".

"There will be chinks in the armour, and, maybe, yes, she had chinks in the armour, but this is the time that we have to come together as a nation and forget the chinks in the armour and look at the brighter things". "And he shed tears to say that we have chose to separate".

Most of Winnie Mandela's 38-year marriage to Nelson was spent apart, with Nelson imprisoned for 27 years, leaving her to raise their two daughters alone and to keep alive his political dream. Despite it all she never lost her endless compassion.