The youngest daughter of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, has died at the age of 59.
Zindzi Mandela gave up the ghost in a Johannesburg hospital in the early hours of yesterday but cause of death is still hazy.
She lived as an activist and was served as ambassador to Denmark at the time of her death.
She was Mandela’s sixth child and his second with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his second wife.
President Cyril Ramaphosa in a statement said Zindzi Mandela had “during our years of struggle brought home the inhumanity of the apartheid system and the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom”.
Zindzi Mandela with her father Nelson in 2010
I offer my deep condolences to the Mandela family as we mourn the passing of a fearless political activist who was a leader in her own right. Our sadness is compounded by this loss being visited upon us just days before the world marks the birthday of the great Nelson Mandela. pic.twitter.com/RC0YQ6VEvf
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) July 13, 2020
The late activist, plus other family members, grew up at the summit of the anti-apartheid struggle with her father imprisoned on Robben Island and she endured years of harassment and intimidation by the apartheid regime.
Zindzi Mandela was the family member who read out Nelson Mandela’s rejection of then-president PW Botha’s offer for conditional release from prison at a public meeting in February 1985.
Former archbishop of Cape Town Desmond Tutu said that her “speech in Soweto, on behalf of her father… reinvigorated the values and principles of the struggle”.
Until her death, she was known for her fertile support for radical land reform in South Africa.
Media report confirmed that 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, to Evelyn Mase.