South African anti-apartheid campaigner and former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died aged 81.
In later years her reputation became tainted legally and politically.
Family spokesman Victor Dlamini confirmed earlier on Monday that Mrs Mandela “Succumbed peacefully in the early hours of Monday afternoon surrounded by her family and loved ones” following a long illness, which had seen her go in and out of hospital since the start of the year.
They were married for a total of 38 years, although for almost three decades of that time they were separated due to Mr Mandela’s long imprisonment.
In a televised address President Cyril Ramaphosa – whom Mrs Madikizela-Mandela praised earlier this year – called her as a “Voice of defiance” against white-minority rule.
“The Mandela family are deeply grateful for the gift of her life and even as our hearts break at her passing we urge all those who loved her to celebrate this most remarkable South African woman.”
Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was also the first black social worker in the country.
Mrs Madikizela-Mandela found herself mired in scandal for decades.
Mr Mandela, who stood by her throughout the accusations, was finally released from prison in February 1990.