Winnie Madikizela Mandela Biography (Death) Controversy Net worth
Winnie Madikizela Mandela died on Monday, April 2 in her home in Johannesburg at the age of 81. She was noted for being one of the strongest voices in South Africa as the people of the country fought back against apartheid. But there was plenty of controversy along the way just as well.
|Birth||September 26, 1936 (according to official report)|
|Birth Place||Mbongwenti, Eastern Cape|
|School||Hofmeyr School of Social Work|
|Husband||Nelson Mandela, 1958-1996|
Initial Life and Education
Winnie Mandela was born on September 26, 1936 in Mbongwenti, Eastern Cape, although some reports say that she was born in 1934. She went to university as a teenager, a rarity among black women in South Africa at the time. She soon joined the Baragwanath Hospital as a certified social worker. Part of her studies was at the Hofmeyr School of Social Work in Johannesburg. Among the people she studied with included the future wife of ANC head Oliver Tambo.
It was during her studies as a social worker where she discovered how difficult life had been for black people throughout South Africa. This came as the inequalities between the black and white communities were vast with them about to become even worse as apartheid was to come along.
Winnie met Nelson Mandela for the first time in 1957. They would marry a year later, but they would have to hide from society due to apartheid starting up at the time. Winnie would participate in various protests with him throughout the years and was arrested in 1958 during a protest by women over a system that kept black people from moving around in white areas of South Africa. She also had two daughters named Zindzi and Zenani during their marriage before her husband was jailed.
In 1969, she was sent into solitary confinement for 18 months. This came as she had broken the Suppression of Communism Act in 1950. She was detained under the Terrorism Act of 1967, a new law that had worked to control how people could be treated based on actions that entail trying to stop the overall spread of apartheid.
She was constantly moved around by the government while her husband was in jail. Her home in Brandfort was also bombed a few times by government authorities as a means of intimidating him. She would walk alongside him in 1990 when he was freed from jail.
Their marriage would not last forever though as in 1996, the Mandelas would get divorced. This came amid disputes with one another and a general frustration from Winnie over her husband overshadowing much of her work. She still had strong feelings for him as she attended his 90th birthday celebration in 2008 as well as his funeral in 2013.
Career and Achievement And Controversy
Because apartheid made it difficult for black people like herself to have a living in South Africa, Winnie Mandela devoted much of her life to find ways to help people in the country and to stop the threat of apartheid:
- She was arrested in 1976 after attempting to enter into Soweto, a part of South Africa that had been mostly off limits to black people.
- In the 1980s, she worked alongside a group of bodyguards known as the Mandela United Football Club. Although her work was designed to try and promote equality, her bodyguards were constantly engaging in violent acts.
- In 1991, Mandela was convicted of kidnapping and assault following the death of young boy James Moeketsi Seipei. Mandela’s bodyguards killed him two years earlier following the belief that he was an informer.
- In 1997, Mandela was named the president of the African National Congress Women’s League, an organization devoted to promoting the rights of women throughout South Africa and elsewhere in the continent.
- Her political career took a setback in 2003 after she was convicted of fraud. She was accused of using her position with the organization to get fraudulent loans that were in her overall benefit.
- In 2009, she won an election for a seat in the national parliament. However, she received controversy a year later when she remarked that her ex-husband cut a bad deal for the black residents of South Africa and that the black community has struggled to grow over the years. This might have led to how Nelson Mandela did not give her anything in his will.
Details About Her Death
Winnie Madikizela Mandela died on the morning of April 2, 2018 following a long illness. She was hospitalized at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg. A public memorial and funeral are expected to be held although the Mandela family will be responsible for releasing information on when the funeral will take place.
Winnie Madikizela Mandela will be remembered for many of the controversies that she got into over the years, but it is her work to help make South Africa an equal nation that many people will remember her for.