Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away yesterday, was known as the “Mother of the Nation” because of her struggle against white-minority rule in South Africa.

A longtime stalwart of the ruling African National Congress, or ANC, political party, Madikizela-Mandela was a member of South Africa’s parliament at the time of her death.

As a young social worker, she married Nelson Mandela in 1958 at age 22, and stood by him in the years following his 1964 conviction and life imprisonment sentence for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.

( Note: BBC and NYTimes articles were found to be inappropriately and unnecessarily skewed towards negative news in preparing this post )

“She was a champion of justice and equality.”
“Her dedication to the plight of her people gained her the love and the respect of the nation.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, gave praises for Winnie Mandela.

“For many years‚ she bore the blunt of the senseless brutality of the apartheid state with stoicism and fortitude.”
“Despite the hardship she faced‚ she never doubted that the struggle for freedom and democracy would triumph and succeed.”

“She remained throughout her life a tireless advocate for the dispossessed and the marginalised.”
“She was the voice for the voiceless”

President Ramaphosa has praised the late Winnie Madikizela-Mandela for her determination and courage during the toughest times of apartheid. He urged South Africans to reflect on Madikizela-Mandela’s “rich‚ remarkable and meaningful life”.

“Let us draw inspiration from the struggles that she fought and the dream of a better society to which she dedicated her entire life. Today‚ we have lost a mother ‚ a grandmother‚ a friend‚ a comrade‚ a leader and an icon. As South Africans we collectively pass our condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families. Your loss is our loss as well‚”–she-was-the-voice-for-the-voiceless-ramaphosa-pays-tribute-to-winnie-madikizela-mandela/

Ms. Mandela’s family gave a statement: “Mrs. Madikizela-Mandela was one of the greatest icons of the struggle against apartheid,” the statement said. “She fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country.”

“She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband Nelson Mandela alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one of its most recognizable faces,” the statement said.

Born in 1936 in what is now known as the Eastern Cape province, Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela was the daughter of a history teacher.

Madikizela-Mandela led an international campaign calling for Nelson Mandela’s release during his imprisonment.
While Nelson Mandela was banned from reading newspapers, his wife was his link to the outside world. Madikizela-Mandela told him of the changes taking place in his homeland and became his often outspoken and controversial public voice.