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Former President Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

Source: Media24/Gallo Images / Getty

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the South African anti-apartheid campaigner who rose to prominence as the plight of her then husband Nelson Mandela became a global cry for justice, has died. She was 81.  Her death was confirmed by the BBC.

Even after she divorced from Mandela, Winnie was long known as the Mother of the Nation. Although Nelson Mandela became idolized after becoming the first democratically elected President of the country, she became immortalized as the spirit of the “new” South Africa. When most leaders moved to the all-white suburbs of Johannesburg, Madikizela-Mandela stayed in the black township of Soweto, never forgetting the people.
This story will be updated as more information comes.

BREAKING: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Dies At 81  was originally published on