Cape Town — Veteran freedom fighter and former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at the age of 81, her personal assistant, Zodwa Zwane‚ confirmed.
An icon and noted stalwart in the fight against the Apartheid regime, she was most recently admitted to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg due to a kidney infection.
Born in in the village of Mbongweni, Bizana, in the Transkei in 1936, she eventually relocated to Johannesburg to study social work after earning her matric certificate.
She met Nelson Mandela in 1957 and married him a year later. They had two children together, Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane and Zenani Mandela-Dlamini.