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Winnie Mandela

Biography of Winnie Mandela

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (1936- ) was University Rector from 1987 until 1990.

In 1958 Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela married the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela. Her husband was imprisoned in South Africa from 1962 until 1990 and Madikizela-Mandela came to be a focus for those campaigning there and abroad for his release and an end to apartheid.

In 1987 the unsuccessful candidates for rector were Esmond Wright, a former lecturer at the University; the teacher Kenneth Dyer; the University graduate Neil Henderson, and the anti-apartheid campaigner Bishop Isaac Mokoena. Mandela was not permitted to leave South Africa to attend the election or the installation.

In 1987 Winnie Mandela was implicated in a murder in a South African township, and she was subsequently convicted of kidnapping and other crimes. In 1989 there were calls for her to resign as Rector, on the grounds that she had devalued the office by showing scant regard for the rule of law. Nelson and Winnie Mandela separated in 1992 and divorced four years later, but she remains a prominent figure in South African politics.


Winnie Mandela

Born 1936, Bizana, South Africa.
University Link: Rector
Occupation categories: politicians
Record last updated: 19th Feb 2008

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