Winnie Madikizela-Mandela timeline

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As South Africans pay tribute to veteran anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the BBC charts her tumultuous life with an interactive timeline of key events.

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1936

  • 26 September
    Winnie Mandela image

    Winnie Madikizela is born in Bizana in the Transkei (Eastern Cape).

1957

  • Winnie Mandela image

    The young social worker meets Nelson Mandela, a lawyer and prominent anti-apartheid activist. They marry a year later.

1964

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Mr Mandela is sentenced to life imprisonment. His wife campaigns tirelessly for his release and becomes the face of resistance against apartheid.

1969

  • Winnie Mandela image

    She is jailed and spends 491 days in solitary confinement.

1977

  • Winnie Mandela image

    The authorities banish her to Brandfort, a small town in Free State province, for nearly a decade.

1986

  • Winnie Mandela image

    She gives a controversial speech endorsing "necklacing", placing a tyre around the necks of suspected collaborators with the regime and burning them alive. "Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country," she says.

1990

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years. His wife is at the gates to meet him.

1991

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Convicted of the kidnapping and assault of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, who was seized by her bodyguards in 1989 and later found dead. She denies any wrongdoing but is found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison, later reduced to a fine.

1993

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Elected president of the African National Congress Women's League. She is re-elected in 1997.

1994

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Appointed deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology in Mr Mandela's unity government. She is fired after allegations of corruption emerge.

1996

  • Winnie Mandela image

    After 38 years of marriage, the couple divorce and she adopts the surname "Madikizela-Mandela".

2003

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Convicted of fraud and theft over a bank loan scam. The theft conviction was later overturned but she received a suspended sentence of three years and six months for fraud.

2007

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Re-elected to parliament. She remains popular among poor, black South Africans and the youth.

2018

  • 2 April
    Winnie Mandela image

    After battling a long illness Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies peacefully in hospital.

  • 26 September
    Winnie Mandela image

    Winnie Madikizela is born in Bizana in the Transkei (Eastern Cape).

  • Winnie Mandela image

    The young social worker meets Nelson Mandela, a lawyer and prominent anti-apartheid activist. They marry a year later.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Mr Mandela is sentenced to life imprisonment. His wife campaigns tirelessly for his release and becomes the face of resistance against apartheid.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    She is jailed and spends 491 days in solitary confinement.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    The authorities banish her to Brandfort, a small town in Free State province, for nearly a decade.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    She gives a controversial speech endorsing "necklacing", placing a tyre around the necks of suspected collaborators with the regime and burning them alive. "Together, hand in hand, with our matches and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country," she says.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years. His wife is at the gates to meet him.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Convicted of the kidnapping and assault of 14-year-old Stompie Seipei, who was seized by her bodyguards in 1989 and later found dead. She denies any wrongdoing but is found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison, later reduced to a fine.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Elected president of the African National Congress Women's League. She is re-elected in 1997.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Appointed deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology in Mr Mandela's unity government. She is fired after allegations of corruption emerge.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    After 38 years of marriage, the couple divorce and she adopts the surname "Madikizela-Mandela".

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Convicted of fraud and theft over a bank loan scam. The theft conviction was later overturned but she received a suspended sentence of three years and six months for fraud.

  • Winnie Mandela image

    Re-elected to parliament. She remains popular among poor, black South Africans and the youth.

  • 2 April
    Winnie Mandela image

    After battling a long illness Winnie Madikizela-Mandela dies peacefully in hospital.

Credits: Development: Olawale Malomo. Design: Olaniyi Adebimpe. Research: Yemisi Adegoke.

Photo Credits: AFP, Getty Images, Reuters.