Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela-Mandela‚ a figure in the fight against apartheid‚ has died at the age of 81. Her PA‚ Zodwa Zwane‚ confirmed her death on Monday afternoon. She said the family would be issuing a statement later in the day. Born in Bizana in the Eastern Cape in 1936‚ she moved to Johannesburg to study social work after matriculating.
She met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957 and they were married a year later. They had two children together. Her marriage life with Mandela was short-lived‚ as he was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason. Mandela was eventually released in 1990.
During Mandela’s time in prison, she was placed under house arrest and at one time banished to Brandfort‚ a town in the Free State from apartheid forces.
In 1969‚ Madikizela-Mandela became one of the first detainees under Section 6 of the notorious Terrorism Act of 1967. She was detained for 18 months in solitary confinement in a condemned cell at Pretoria Central Prison before being charged under the Suppression of Communism Act of 1950.