Pretoria, South Africa, Apr 3, 2018 / 08:42 am
The bishops of South Africa offered their sympathy Tuesday for the death of the controversial anti-apartheid activist and politician Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was the former wife of Nelson Mandela.
Madikizela-Mandela died in hospital in Johannesburg Monday at the age of 81 after a long-term illness. In an April 3 statement, the South African bishops' conference praised her as a "committed activist [and a] courageous leader."
Her presence as a world figure enabled her to speak "where millions of other women could not," and "her courage, her thirst for justice for all, black and white, her inspired and persistent defiance towards an unjust system was historic and will inspire many in the future," the message stated.
The bishops also noted that Madikizela-Mandela has a "complex history," though her mistakes could be attributed to "a suffering and impetuous heart."