The estranged wife of late South Africa's Presidential, Dr. Nelson Mandela is dead. She was 81 years of age.
Born as Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela,Winnie was a highly controversial figure in South African politics. She was revered by many as the Mother of the Nation.
This rare bred brave woman was born in 1939 in the village of Bizana, Transkei, being daughter of a history teacher and a science teacher. She moved to Johannesburg on the advice of her father, to study at the Jan Hofmeyr School of Social Work before she got married to Nelson Madibo Mandela in 1958 and turned instead to a life of activism, helping to end apartheid.
She graduated in 1956 at the top of her class and was offered a scholarship to study in the US, but she refused in order to become the first qualified Social Worker at Johannesburg's Baragwamath Hospital.
It was during her work in the Hospital that she first became political as she witnessed first hand the effect apartheid was having on poor black communities.
Winnie first met Nelson in 1957 at a bus stop in Soweto while he was still married to his first wife Evelyn Made. His relationship with Evelyn was falling apart, and not too long he met Winnie, the marriage collapsed, and Winnie and Nelson married in 1958.
Winnie died at the age of 81 years, according to the information released to BBC by her personal assistant of her passing on. She was I'll for several years and had been hospitalized recently with kidney problems. Her marriage to Nelson lasted 38 years.