Though Winnie Mandela’s past may have been, for many, tumultuous and full of contradictions, many south African women have nevertheless come together to pay tribute to her contributions to end apartheid in the country.

Women across South Africa are wearing a black doek (headscarf), or black beret.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died at the age of 81 and was an integral part of the resistance against apartheid when her husband, Nelson Mandela was in jail.

Her past is littered with allegations of violence, which were exhumed in reports following her death; such as the terrible murder of 14-year-old Stompie Moeketsi, although she repeatedly denied any involvement in the crime.

Winnie was also subjected to 491 days in solitary confinement and horrific methods of torture, including denying her sanitary products so that she was found, in detention, covered in her own menstrual blood.

Of Winnie’s legacy, Guardiancolumnist Afua Hirsch wrote:

Peaceful protest did not end apartheid: it took revolutionaries. And it shouldn’t be difficult to choose between a system of racial supremacy and a person who helped overthrow it.

It took women such as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She was, as the world’s media have had to be repeatedly reminded this week, not an “activist”: she was a leader in a liberation struggle. She survived – during more than 35 years of apartheid – surveillance, threats, harassment, arrest and imprisonment, 491 days in solitary confinement and eight years in exile

At a party outside Madikizela-Mandela’s house in Soweto, Leader of the left wing Economic Freedom Fighters party in South Africa, Julius Malema, told a crowd that she should have been president, and that misogynists in the African National Congress (ANC), prevented that from happening.

Winnie Mandela was supposed to be president of South Africa.

But the men in the ANC were threatened by a woman and the whites were threatened by an African woman. That’s why they did everything to destroy her.

People on Twitter have also been celebrating her contributions to the freedom effort in South Africa

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