Madikizela-Mandela to be buried in Fourways - Family

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The 81-year-old political activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, who became an global symbol of the fight against apartheid, died in hospital on Monday surrounded by family.

Zweli Mkhize, a senior minister in the African National Congress (ANC) party government, said Winnie Mandela's death marked "the end of an era" as she was a leading stalwart from the darkest days of the anti-apartheid struggle.

Madikizela-Mandela died at Milpark Hospital on Monday after a long illness.

The Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela, said in a media statement Madikizela-Mandela's passing has left South Africa, Africa and the whole world poorer. "My love for her remains undiminished", said Nelson Mandela about his wife back in 1992.

Nelson Mandela died in 2013.

As South Africans we collectively pass our condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families.

During an appearance on South Africa's eNCA network, Mashile said she wrote the tweet in response to a Reuters article that chronicled Mandela's fall from "Mother" of South Africa to the "mugger" of South Africa.

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In terms of the President's declaration, the official memorial service for Ms Madikizela-Mandela will be held at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Soweto in Johannesburg on Wednesday, to be followed by the Special Official Funeral proceedings at Orlando Stadium, Soweto on Saturday.

"Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists".

Her reputation was sullied by scandals in her later years, including a 1991 conviction for kidnapping and assault.

Despite these attempts to break her spirit, she remained steadfast and refused to cease with her political activism, displaying exemplary courage that made her a role model for many young women activists in South Africa, Magashule said. I recall, for instance, when some leaders of the UDF disowned her.

Crowds of mourners and political figures flocked to her home in Soweto, in Johannesburg, after news of her death broke.

Whether people loved her or not, she will always be remembered for her fearlessness.

In 1957 she met lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela and they were married a year later.