Winnie Mandela dies at 81

Winnie Mandela dies at 81

Claudia Ennin

The strong South African freedom fighter Winnie Mandela died Monday, April 2nd at age 81. Winnie Mandela was an anti-apartheid leader, a politician and freedom fighter born on September 26, 1936. Winnie Mandela was a woman who refused to be broken by anything. She was known to her supporters as the ” Mother of the Nation”. Staunch supporters want everyone to remember her as a faultless woman while those who are still in the trenches fighting the old battles in favor of white supremacy, want us to remember Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela as a violent and deeply flawed individual. When Nelson Mandela, was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to life in prison on the scandalous Robben Island prison, She was left to raise her two young daughters all by herself. She served as a member of parliament from 1994 to 1996. She was also a member of the African National Congress (ANC), she served on the ANC’s National Executive Committee and headed its Women’s League. 

In 1998, her home was burned by residents of Soweto, in retaliation for the actions of the Mandela United Football Club, and in 1998 the United Democratic Front, ” disowned ” her for “violating human rights in the name of the struggle against apartheid. Winnie Mandela was once arrested in her pajamas in the late 1960’s and was treated horribly during her incarceration. She went through so many tortures. Her cell was adjacent to a torture chamber. She did not fill the vacuum left by her husband. She clearly took her rightful place at the center of the battle for the freedom of black people. She was the voice of her people. 

She was an African woman that was removed from society as punishment just for asking for basic human rights. The message this reveals is that she and black people were not alone in the struggle against apartheid. A lot of people barely have an idea about her life and all the trauma she experienced at the hands of those who enforced some of the most racist and sexist laws the world has ever seen. She died on Monday, April 2, 2018, at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. The cause of her death is said to be a “long-term illness” according to her family. Mrs. Madikizela- Mandela was a kind of woman whose sheer strength and willpower could not be suppressed. And she has to be acknowledged for being a fearless freedom fighter and a legacy.

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