South Africa: Winnie Madikizela-Mandela recovering in hospital

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – There is growing concern about former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s health following an operation at a Johannesburg clinic last Thursday.

Her immediate family has pleaded with the public and the media to give her privacy and President Jacob Zuma has issued a statement saying that she is "stable" and wishing her well.

Madikizela-Mandela’s personal assistant, Zodwa Zwane, refused to elaborate on her progress following her second back operation in as many months. The former wife of Nelson Mandela also suffers from diabetes. “The family is thankful for your prayers and support whilst they appreciate your respect for their privacy,” Zwane said.

The Presidency wished the 79-year-old liberation hero a speedy recovery and urged the nation “to keep her and the Mandela family in their thoughts and prayers during this time”.

Earlier this month, Madikizela-Mandela’s bid to lay claim to her former husband's rural home in Qunu was dismissed by the Mthatha High Court. She sparked an outcry last year when she launched a legal challenge against the estate, with her lawyers claiming that her divorce from the former President was fraudulently obtained.  

Madikizela-Mandela, who carried the hopes of black South Africans during Mandela's lengthy imprisonment, was married to him for 38 years. Although they were still married when Mandela became president of South Africa in May 1994, they had been separated since 1992 after she had a high-profile affair. Their divorce was finalised in 1996.

Mandela, who remarried former Mozambican First Lady Graca Machel on his 80th birthday, excluded Madikizela-Mandela from his will. He died in 2013 and was buried on the property.
-0- PANA CU/MA 18Apr2016

18 Abril 2016 11:40:10

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