Winnie-Madikizela-Mandela-007
Winnie Mandela

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has joined hundreds of global leaders to pay tribute to the fallen former wife of South African freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 81, was pronounced dead by the Mandela family spokesperson, Victor Dlamini, on Monday.”It is with profound sadness that we inform the public that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa on Monday,” Dlamini wrote. On his official twitter account, President Museveni wrote: “Very sorry to hear about the death of comrade Winnie Mandela.” “I salute her contribution to the resistance in South Africa, especially during the time Mzee Mandela was in prison,” Museveni further wrote on Monday.

On the same day, the former presidential candidate for Uganda’s leading opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change, Kizza Besigye, also paid tribute to Winnie. “Winnie etched a permanent and very conspicuous mark in annals of anti-apartheid struggle! Fare thee well,” Besigye wrote. Just in January, Mandela was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by Makerere University, Uganda’s leading public institute. While congratulating her upon the achievement, Museveni said then: “The Mandela family was very instrumental in the liberation of South Africa and the entire African continent.”

Winnie Mandela is remembered for leading a group of women to demonstrate against the injustices brought about by the apartheid regime in South Africa. While her husband was in jail, Winnie fought hard to ensure his release in 1990 but two years later the two separated and then had an official divorce in 1996. Mandela died in 2013. Uganda has had a great connection to the Mandela family and as soon as he left prison, the country was one of his first destinations to visit. Uganda later named its national stadium after him and put up several monuments around the country. Namboole Stadium was renamed the Nelson Mandela National Stadium in commemoration of the freedom fighter.

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