Birthday wishes have been pouring in for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from the ANC and opposition political parties on her 81st birthday. Picture: Phando Jikelo

Johannesburg - Birthday wishes have been pouring in for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from the ANC and opposition political parties on her 81st birthday. 

Many of the messages wished Madikizela-Mandela a fruitful day and praised her for her contribution to the liberation struggle. 

Madikizela-Mandela, who was married to former South African President Nelson Mandela, was seen by many as the mother of the liberation struggle as she often assisted many freedom fighters during Apartheid. 

EFF leader Julius Malema tweeted a youthful picture of himself and Madikizela-Mandela calling her "the first female president of South Africa". 

Malema and Madikizela-Mandela have a close relationship that dates back to his time as a young student leader of the Congress of South African Students. 

The ANC in Gauteng complimented Madikizela-Mandela for her courage and power.  

Madikizela-Mandela was often detained by Apartheid police for her activism. She headed the ANC's Women's League and she has been a Member of Parliament since 1994. She has also held a ministerial position. 

Politics and Development Bureau