Winnie Mandela: Life in pictures

A veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, Winnie Mandela died at the age of 81.

Mandela speaking at a 1990 ANC rally in Khayelitsha. [Oryx Media Archive/Gallo Images/Getty Images]

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 81.

The anti-apartheid campaigner and one-time wife of the late Mandela passed away after a long illness, her personal assistant confirmed on Monday.

She was married to Nelson Mandela - Nobel Peace Prize laureate and icon of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle - for 38 years, of which Mandela spent 27 behind bars.

June 14, 1958: Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela's wedding photo. [Gallo Images/Avusa/Getty Images] Idris Elba and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on November 3, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. [Moeletsi Mabe/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela attending Nelson Mandela's memorial service at the FNB stadium on December 10, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. [Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela speaks to singer Miriam Makeba at the announcement of a three-day concert and summit to aid African children in 1991. [Bettmann/Getty Images] Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, stands with Winnie Mandela at a press conference in Manhattan following the World Day of Atonement in 1995. [James Leynse/Corbis/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela raises her fist in defiance during a miner's strike in the 1980s. [Patrick Durand/Sygma/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela walks in the Freedom March in Support of Nelson Mandela in 1990. [Patrick Durand/Sygma/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela attends an ANC rally in Soweto. [Gideon Mendel/Corbis/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela leaving a confrontation with police after an anti-cricket tour demonstration in Johannesburg in 1990. [Gideon Mendel/Corbis/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela confronts security after police violence at an anti-cricket tour demonstration in Johannesburg in 1990. [Gideon Mendel/Corbis/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela salutes an ANC fighter after his execution by the government at a memorial service for him, in Johannesburg. Several ANC members were executed between the 1960s and 1980s. [Gideon Mendel/Corbis/Getty Images] Winnie Mandela plays with her grandson in 1986. [David Turnley/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images]

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Mersiha Gadzo