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Winnie Mandela dies at age 81

Winnie Madikizela Mandela, ex wife of south African icon Nelson Mandela, dies at age 81.

She died early Monday afternoon in a Johannesburg hospital after a long illness which has repeatedly taken her in and out of the hospital since the beginning of the year.

She peacefully gave up on her sick bed at the Nectar Milpark hospital, surrounded by her family and loved ones.

Citizens, friends and well wishers have since trooped out to pay their tribute to the icon, led by the anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu who described Winnie as "a defining symbol" of the struggle against oppression.

He commended her for refusing to be bowed by her husbands imprisonment, constant detentions, banning or embarrassments of her family by security forces

Winnie, who was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, also played a strong role in the struggle to end white-minority rule in the country

And although she had a bit of a damaging reputation during the struggle, her courage remains a source of inspiration to generations and and activists alike.

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