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Zindzi Mandela: Nelson Mandela’s daughter dies at 59

Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has passed away at the age of 59.

According to reports, she died in a Johannesburg hospital in the early hours of Monday morning. Like her parents likewise, Zindzi Mandela was an activist in her own right and meanwhile was serving as ambassador to Denmark at the time of her death. Zindzi Mandela was Nelson Mandela’s sixth child and his second with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela – who was his second wife.

Zindzi Mandela

President of South Africa; Cyril Ramaphosa, in a statement, commended Zindzi Mandela on her fight for freedom. “During our years of struggle brought home the inhumanity of the apartheid system and the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom”. In addition, he took to his social media to write about her sad passing.

Zindzi Mandela was posted to Denmark in 2015 and subsequently designated to become South Africa’s head of mission in Monrovia, Liberia.

Zindzi Mandela grew up at the height of the anti-apartheid struggle. With her father imprisoned on Robben Island, she however endured years of harassment and intimidation by the apartheid regime. Likewise, her sister Zenani, and her mother Winnie.

Zindzi was the family member who read out Nelson Mandela’s rejection of then-president PW Botha’s offer. That is, the offer for his conditional release from prison at a public meeting in February 1985.

Zindzi Mandela
Zinzi Mandela and her father, Nelson Mandela, at her wedding.
26 October 1992 in Soweto

Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor says; “Zindzi will not only be remembered as a daughter of our struggle heroes but as a struggle heroine in her own right.”

Only two of Nelson Mandela’s six children are still alive; Zenani Dlamini – Zindzi’s sister and Pumla Makaziwe Mandela; a daughter from his first marriage.

Rest in peace Zindzi.

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