The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has praised Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s contribution to the apartheid liberation struggle, following her passing on Monday at the age of 81.Foundation’s spokesperson Thami Ntenteni said that it was tragic to hear that an "icon of this stature has fallen"."A characteristic of the struggle veterans is that they never elevated themselves above the people. They gave their lives to the struggle – even after 1994 – without expectation," said Ntenteni."Winnie committed herself to the people and that was the biggest gift of all. We will remember everything and forget nothing. We must remember that freedom was not free, it came at a heavy cost."