Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, wife of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, and a leading anti-apartheid figure in her own right during the country's most turbulent years, has died at age 81.

The Mandela family said in a statement that she died Monday in Johannesburg "after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year."

Photo from www.nelsonmandelaonline.net

Nelson Mandela will continue to inspire emerging democracies. That is the consensus of many around the world in the wake of Mandela's death Thursday at the age of 95. WBFO News reached University at Buffalo Professor Claude Welch at his home for his thoughts on Mandela and his legacy.