Birthday wishes have been pouring in for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from the ANC. Picture: Phando Jikelo

Johannesburg - The African National Congress on Tuesday sent well wishes to struggle stalwart Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on he 81st birthday.

"Comrade Nomzamo remains an inspiration to millions of South Africans who continue to look up to her lifelong example of bravery, fearlessness and selflessness," the ruling party said in a short statement.

"As we mark her special day today, the African National Congress writes to Comrade Winnie for two reasons - firstly to thank her for her service to the liberation struggle and the people of South Africa and secondly to wish her a restful, joyful day in the company of loved ones and family."

The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) also wished Madikizela-Mandela, a former ANCWL president, well on her birthday. 

The ANCWL said Madikizela-Mandela selflessly dedicated her life to the liberation struggle and was not deterred by the "physical and psychological tortures" she endured.

"She also led from the front in the struggle to dismantle evil practises of patriarchy and male chauvinism which treat women as second class citizens. Without motives of material advantage or personal gain, Cde Winnie  participated in the struggle end to all forms of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups," the ANCWL said. 

"Happiest Birthday Cde Winnie and wishing you the best in the years to come!!!"