Nelson Mandela's love affair with Winnie
In an open letter, Nelson Mandela's widow pays tribute to the struggle stalwart, who died on Monday at the age of Madikizela-Mandela continued to be a presence in Mandela's life in recent seen laughing and joking with her successor, Graça Machel. Graca Macel and Winnie Madikizela Mandela embrace each other. Referring to Madikizela-Mandela as “my big sister”‚ Machel said the late.
Thank you for your brilliant wisdom, your fierce defiance and your stylish beauty. Fortunately, stars shine brightest during the darkest of hours. I know you will continue to illuminate our sky, even through the storms and clouds. Your legacy will be an uplifting beacon from which we can continue to draw guidance and strength during difficult times. You loved our people unconditionally and sacrificed so much for our freedom.
Graca Machel mourns her 'big sister' Winnie Madikizela-Mandela
It is my prayer that as befitting tributes are paid to you both at home and abroad, all of us will internalise the values you helped to mould and birth into existence. As a nation, I hope we will stand tall and proud, and as uncompromising as you were in the defence and protection of our rights. As one of our brightest stars, continue to be the lioness that protects your children and your grandchildren. Warm their hearts so that while your transition may shake them, it does not break their spirit.
Nelson, a fitness fanatic, was there in the car in gym attire. I was taken to the gym, to watch him sweat! That became the pattern of my life. One moment, I was watching him. Then he would dash off to meetings, with just time to drop me off at the hostel.
Even at that stage, life with him was a life without him. But soon he went underground and, inwas put on trial.
Graca Machel mourns Winnie’s passing, lauds her for her resilient spirit
He would spend 27 years in prison, separated from his wife and their two daughters by the dividing glass screen of the visitor room. Madikizela-Mandela carved her own name in struggle lore. She was regularly detained by the apartheid government.
Stompie was found dead in a field in Soweto.
Winnie's six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine on appeal. InWinnie was found guilty of fraud related to a funeral fund.
- Nelson and Winnie Mandela's marriage ended, but the bond was never broken
Her five-year sentence was changed to a suspended one of three years and six months. But these dark pages in Winnie's life are probably, sadly, hiding a truly deep story of love, affection and commitment. And thus the more accurate, full story of Nomzano Winnie Madikizela is much lesser known. It is a love story amid the darkest days of South Africa's apartheid past and into Nelson Mandela's long walk to freedom. A social worker by training, she married Nelson inthree months after he divorced his first wife, Evelyn Mase.
Nelson had to ask the apartheid government for a six-day reprieve of his banning order to attend his own wedding. The social worker was thrown into the heart of the anti-apartheid struggle.
The love story grew even stronger as Nelson was sentenced to life and sent to Robben Island. His prison letters are the proof of how he missed his wife and family - Winnie and Nelson had two daughters. Winnie took over the megaphone of activism and the apartheid government punished her severely for it. She was detained in solitary confinement between 12 May and 14 September She was tortured, too.
In one instance, although suffering from a heart condition, she was interrogated by the apartheid security police continuously and without a break for five days and five nights.