South Africa's Winnie Mandela hospitalised

Wednesday January 24 2018

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Former wife of the late South African President Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela waves as she attends the 54th ANC National Conference in Johannesburg on December 16, 2017. She is admitted to hospital her family said on January 23, 2018. PHOTO | MUJAHID SAFODIEN | AFP 

By AFP
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JOHANNESBURG

South Africa's Winnie Madikizela-Mandela who is popularly known as "the mother of the nation" has been admitted to hospital with a kidney infection, the family of her ex-husband Nelson Mandela said.  

Winnie, 81, is an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle and was persecuted by authorities during white rule, going on to hold a ministerial post after democratic elections in 1994.

"The Mandela family wish to inform the public that Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been admitted to the Milpark Hospital" on Sunday, said the statement.

Nelson and Winnie were wed in 1956 and divorced in 1996.

Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962 and spent 27 years in jail before becoming South Africa's black president in the post-apartheid elections.

"She is expected to make a full recovery and should spend approximately a week at the hospital. She is constantly surrounded by family and is in high spirits," the statement added.