Winnie Mandela was born on September 26, 1936, in Xhosa family in Bizana, British South Africa has died at the age of 81 after a long illness, a family spokesman said.

“She died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of the hospital since the start of the year,” said Victor Dlamini. “She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones.”

Winnie Mandela was a South African freedom fighter, anti-apartheid leader, politician and former wife of Nelson Mandela. At the age of 22, Winnie met Nelson Mandela in 1957 at a bus stop in Soweto. She was married to Nelson Mandela in 1958. They had two daughters, Ezinhle ROOI and Zindzi.

After the custody of Nelson Mandela in 1963, Winnie continued the anti-apartheid campaign. She was very popular among South African populations.