SA mourns struggle icon Madikizela-Mandela’s death

Heartfelt condolences continue to pour in following the death of African National Congress (ANC) stalwart and anti-apartheid struggle veretan, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
She died on Monday at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. Madikizela-Mandela, the former wife of the late ANC and South African president, Dr Nelson Mandela, died after a long illness, according to her family. 
Family’ spokesperson, Victor Dlamini, anncounced the death on behalf of the family in a statement. “It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg on Monday. She died after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. Madikizela-Mandela succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones,” the spokesperson said. 
“She was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid. Madikizela-Mandela fought valiantly against the apartheid government and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country. Her activism and resistance to apartheid landed her in jail on numerous occasions, eventually causing her banishment to the small town of Brandfort in the then Orange Free State.”
Dlamini said Madikizela-Mandela kept the memory of her imprisoned husband, Mandela, alive during his years on Robben Island. He added that Madikizela-Mandela contributed in giving the struggle for justice in South Africa one of its most recognisable faces.
“The Mandela family is deeply grateful for the gift of her life. Even though our hearts broke at her passing, we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable woman. Madikizela-Mandela dedicated most of her adult life to the cause of the people and for this was known far and wide as the Mother of the Nation,” he said.
The ANC in Bokone Bophirima also sent its condolences. The ruling party’s acting Provincial Secretary, Suzan Dantjie, said Madikizela-Mandela was an undisputed icon of the struggle for the liberation of the country and gender emancipation.
“The sad passing of Mmaarona Winnie has left a vacuum in the struggle to construct a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South African society. She will forever remain an important role player in the first and last line of defence of the revolution. We will, however, hold onto and continue with her teachings of putting the country and the people first.
“She continued to share these teachings even as late as this year, despite her health challenges. This is one of the many valuable lessons we will remember and forever cherish from this Mother of the Nation. We send heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and comrades and pray that they get strength during this difficult time of bereavement,” Dantjie said.