South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that fallen struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who died on Monday, will be accorded a state funeral on 14 April.Madikizela Mandela, aged 81, and the former wife of late president Nelson Mandela, died after a long illness after her latest admission to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg at the weekend.
On Easter Friday the struggle icon and her family attended a church service in Johannesburg.
Her death was first announced by the family in Soweto, where she still maintained her home till her dying day.
Paying tribute to her during a visit to the bereaved home in Soweto Monday night, Ramaphosa likened her departure to that of “a gigantic tree” that had fallen, thereby depriving the nation of its “protective shade.”
Here are some key points from the struggle stalwart’s life:
– 1936: Born on September 26 as Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela in the Eastern Cape province.
– 1955: Becomes the country’s first black social worker in a hospital in Johannesburg’s Soweto Township.
– 1958: Marries Nelson Mandela, a lawyer and leading member of the anti-apartheid ANC.
– 1962: Mandela is jailed. Over the next years, Madikizela-Mandela emerges as an influential ANC figure, enduring harassment and stints in prison.
– 1986: In her most controversial speech, she endorses the practice of “necklacing” or burning people by setting alight a tyre around their necks.
– 1990: Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years in prison.
– 1991: Madikizela-Mandela is found guilty and fined for the kidnapping of four Soweto youths and the killing of one by her team of bodyguards known as the “Mandela United Football Club”.
– 1992: She is forced out of all executive positions in the ANC after allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
– 1994: Appointed deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology in Mandela’s unity government. The next year, she is sacked for insubordination but keeps her position as Member of Parliament and head of the powerful Women’s League in the African National Congress.
– 1996: Is divorced from Mandela, after four years of separation.
– 1998: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission implicates her in torture, murder and abduction during the struggle against apartheid.
– 2003-2004: Convicted of fraud, with a suspended jail sentence.
– 2009: Manages to secure only the fifth place on the ANC’s electoral list for the 2009 general election.
– 2013: Death of Nelson Mandela
– 2 April 2018: Death of Winnie Mandela.