The statement went on to read, “She fought valiantly against the apartheid state and sacrificed her life for the freedom of the country.” Referring to her strong opposition to white minority rule over South Africa.
Nelson Mandela and Winnie were married for 38 years, 27 years of which he was incarcerated on Robben Island, near Cape Town.
“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 its most recognizable faces,” the statement said.
Two years after Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black President, the couple split and was divorced in 1996. They had two children; Nelson Mandela died later on in 2013.
Winnie continued to serve the African National Congress political party until she died, however, she was no stranger to controversy. She was convicted of kidnapping and fraud on two separate occasions.
The family will soon release details of her memorial and funeral services once finalized