Anti-Apartheid Activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Dies at 81

Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela South Africa's former first lady died yesterday at the age of 81.

"She died after a long illness‚ for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year. She succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones," Madikizela-Mandela's family said in a statement.

Married to former South African President Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist known as "Mama Winnie" to many tirelessly fought and sacrificed her life for the greater good and freedom of South Africa. 

"Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid," Energy Minister Jeff Radebe states at a news conference at Johannesburg's Netcare Milpark Hospital. 

A display of the impact woman continuously make in the world Madikizela-Mandela will be missed and mourned by many. Her efforts will not be forgotten.