Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the TRC hearings in Johannesburg in 1997. Picture: Debbie Yazbek/African News Agency Archives

Johannesburg - Palestinian groups on Wednesday joined South Africans in mourning the death of anti-apartheid struggle icon, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The Palestinian embassy in Pretoria said: “While we bid farewell to Mama Winnie, we recall her support for our Palestinian struggle. She remained one of the strongest defenders of our just cause to achieve freedom and independence until her last moment on Earth”.

Anti-apartheid activist and former wife of the late president Nelson Mandela - Madikizela-Mandela - died at the Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg on Monday, she was 81.

“Palestine and the Palestinian leadership join fellow South African people and our comrades in the African National Congress in grieving the loss of Comrade Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.”

Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, said that Palestinians drew inspiration from Madikizela-Mandela.

“Her courage and her refusal to compromise with her oppressors, despite a year and a half of solitary confinement, and years of banning and exile, have strengthened the spirit of millions of strugglers for justice, and, especially, large numbers of Palestinians who have refused to bend down to Zionist oppression, occupation and apartheid,” said Hamas.

Madikizela-Mandela will be buried on April 14 in Johannesburg.

African News Agency/ANA