By Sandra Rose  | 

Winnie Mandela

South African activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away "peacefully" on Monday after a long illness, according to published reports. She was 81.

Madikizela-Mandela, who was married to former South African president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, was a polarizing figure in Soweto.

Although she kept the memory of her husband Nelson Mandela alive while he was imprisoned for 27 years, there were rumors that she cheated on him, spent money lavishly on members of her “Mandela United Football Club”, and used her Soweto enforcers to kidnap members of her opposition.

Winnie was thrust into the world headlines after Nelson Mandela was released from Cape Town's Victor Vester prison in 1990.

Four years later Mandela became South Africa's first black president.

But their marriage fell apart after allegations of Madikizela-Mandela's rampant corruption, embezzlement, abuse, abductions and murders. Her reputation was forever destroyed after she reportedly kidnapped 14-year-old activist Stompie Seipei.

He was later found with his throat cut near Madikizela-Mandela's Soweto home.

After the Mandelas divorced, she adopted the surname Madikizela-Mandela and she remained defiant.

Madikizela-Mandela revealed her contempt for her ex-husband's ideals in an interview in 2013, saying he had "gone soft in prison and sold out the black cause".

Only after Archbishop Tutu appealed to her humanity did she finally admit that "things went horribly wrong" within her party.

Madikizela-Mandela was tried and convicted for her crimes and human rights violations. But her 6-year prison term was reduced to only a fine.

In 2000, she was convicted of bank fraud and sentenced to 5 years in prison. But her sentence was overturned on appeal.

For all of the suffering she caused, Madikizela-Mandela never served a day in prison.

“You should set the example for all of us," magistrate Peet Johnson scolded Madikizela-Mandela before her sentence was overturned.

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

  • Rayne

    Rip Winnie.?

  • Scromes1212

    RIP. Read she was a savage when it came to her beliefs. By any means necessary

  • Jethro

    I won't speak ill of the dead, so ?

  • laidbackgal4real

    RIP ?

  • klwbaby

    Damn, I didn't know Winnie got down like that....

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Damn....Rest in Power Winnie??

  • Ebony Starr

    RIP Winnie!

  • MookieFly

    Well damn she's not even buried and you're already practicing your heel toe for her grave

    RIP Winnie

  • the guest

    Beautifully said. RIP Winnie.

  • Pitty Patty

    Although she kept the memory of her husband Nelson Mandela alive while he was imprisoned for 27 years, there were rumors that she cheated on him,
    So she was supposed to remain penis free for 27 years? Man GTFOH.

  • SaltineCrackers

    Damn Sandra.

  • Pitty Patty

    Madikizela-Mandela revealed her contempt for her ex-husband’s ideals in an interview in 2013, saying he had “gone soft in prison and sold out the black cause”.
    She said GTFOH with that non-volience All Lives Matter bullshyt
    RIP Queen

  • Kimberly King

    Right. B/C I'm f*cking after day 7. Cooch won't satisfy me for 27 years. I'll need some beef... ASAP lol

  • Pitty Patty

    Not day 7....LMAO. You aren't wasting anytime.

    I think I would have respectfully went to visit Nelson and would have said look. I can't wait 27 on you. I will not divorce you and I will continue to hold you down and uplift your name, but I got boyfriend. I'm sorry. But what do you want me to do?

  • WutizstillHERE!


  • WutizstillHERE!


  • Kimberly King

    Men would do the exact same thing. I don't even think I would wanna be married anymore unless he had lots of money I had access to and didn't mind me having a girlfriend and two boyfriends... but I'm different. lol

  • RoniV

    Rip Winnie

  • Quitedeliteful


  • Vonn

    You are trying to kill us with that lil geezer pizza. ?? thanks for the tip.

  • Vonn

    TIP Winnie.

  • Logan Roberts

    Chile, day 7? A dude would've had his side piece in your pajamas on the same night you were sentenced. Lol.

  • Quitedeliteful

    R.I.P. Winnie Mandela!! She fought the good fight by any means necessary. Folks accuse her of horrific acts but apartheid was horrific. The white minority rulers were barbaric. I'm Team Winnie all day...

  • Vonn

    Exactly. I would have been like I can't stop you from having a boyfriend on the inside...and you can't stop me from having a boyfriend on the outside. ??

  • WutizstillHERE!

    lisssen free was all that got me doc LOL!!! You can eat only 1 slice cuz that crust so THICKBRO on that personal pizza..but I got it still lol

  • Roderick2011

    Winnie is my new b!tch.

    She said she wasn't sorry for what she did when she was a member of the ANC.

    It's too bad blacks don't have an unapologetic leader like her in America who will call a spade a spade with zero sugar coating.

    The only reason that white people fawned over Mandela was because he was calling for forgiveness and all of that bs.

    Winnie said eff that ish.

    That's how I am feeling after watching that video Albert Sterling being murdered.

    Rest in Power Winnie.

  • Roderick2011

    White folks do their underhanded ish and then go grab their guns.

  • Roderick2011

    It's a shame that there are few people who know the truth are savage in their beliefs.

  • Kemi

    RIP Winnie!! Comfort and prayers to family

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    She wasn't perfect (of course, none of us is) but she stood by that man and held it down for 27 years while he sat in prison. I cant help but respect that.
    RIP Mrs. Mandela.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Not to say I condone cheating, because your marriage vows are your marriage vows, but...
    If she was the one in prison I highly doubt Nelson would have stayed celibate for 27 years waiting on her.

  • Diva4lyfe

    RIH Winnie... May God give your family strength during your loss

  • Scromes1212

    That's true

  • Karen Brady

    RIH Ms. Winnie. God bless you.

  • Kimberly King

    LMAO ! Touche ! I'm being nice with 7 days ! What if the conviction gets overturned ? lol not to mention I'm a woman, so I don't jump at those type of opportunities like a man would.

  • Tammie Reed

    May she RIP

  • Rhyme and Reason

    Love me some Winnie, sorry about the negatives, she was only human and flawed! Had she not been a desperado, they would have long killed Mandela, and certainly her like we did here with Medgar Evers, Malcom, and King!

    She was more clever than history will grant her, even when she erred! Her ruthlessness with the ruthless kept her alive, and the end of Apartheid imminent!

    The media basically ignored her during Mandela's funeral proceedings (like she never existed), but the images of her and his present wife, widow gave her the last laugh as they walked arm and arm together to bury and say goodbye to their husband, and she was with him when he took his last breath!

    Winnie and Nelson Mandela, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekala (Soweto Blues and Bring Him Back Home Music), Jonathan Butler have shared with the world, South Africa with all its beauty and atrocities!

    R.I.P., My Godmother, Queen!

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    She went completely rogue.

  • Starr King

    Glad I read these comments because this article tried to play her bad ?????


    My Grandma was a criminal too.. If it was her in prison 27 years he probably would've divorced her and been remarried in less than two years of her sentence. So... ??

  • Sally Wright McLinn

    A really good movie about Winnie with Jennifer Hudson & Terrence Howard -- see it!

  • Coffee1st

    I could have sworn she already died....??????

  • dontgetblocked

    Winnie Mandela was a straight out thug. Nelson divorced her real quick. She needs to float away quietly.

  • Louisville Is4TheBirds

    Winnie had that good cat. #FACTS

  • Ling

    Great documentary on Netflix about this liberation icon. She was relentless, uncompromising, dedicated to the liberation of her people. With Mandela in prison and many in exile, she continually fought hand in hand with her people on the ground, within the belly of the beast, even though the apartheid government tried to break her.

    Rest in power Winnie! ??????

  • Ling

    Right?? Apartheid was damn horrific! Also, let’s not forget how the then President De Klerk oversaw the apartheid killing machine. He finally did 1 reasonable thing under great duress. He became a hero & was awarded a Nobel Prize- an insult to Mandela who had to share it with him.

    President PW Botha used various news outlets for propaganda to discredit Winnie Mandela and other Black leaders.

  • Pamela

    You is smart Ling. You know South African history. I bow down to you Sir.

  • Pamela

    I'm sorry but Jennifer sucked in that role. Terence was allright

  • fRAktal Reality

    I have the utmost respect and reverence for the Xhosa ancestress Winne Mandela because she was one of the few authentically Black individuals on this planet who truly understood what it took to reclaim Black autonomy.

    Winnie knew that to be subjugated, manipulated and exploited continuously by those whose hegemonic ideologies perpetuate criminal pathologies that birth racism executed through discriminatory, exclusionary and genocidal policies (that include the ultimate extermination of non-recessive ethnic groups who are indigenous origins) is unacceptable.

  • fRAktal Reality

    What kind of mind thinks about Mama Winnie's vagina in her death? Mental corruption is real.

  • Hater

    Lala ngoxolo Winnie 1936 - 2018