Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi dies aged 59

Matt Mathers
·2 min read
Getty Images for The Weinstein C
Getty Images for The Weinstein C

Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of South African anti-apartheid leaders Nelson and Winnie, has died, her family has confirmed.

Ms Mandela, a former diplomat, died at a Johannesburg hospital in the early hours of Monday.

The family did not say how she had died.

The Mandela Legacy Foundation, speaking on behalf of the family, said memorial and funeral arrangements for Zindzi would be announced in the course of the week.

Ms Mandela, 59, previously served as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark and was also designated to become head of mission in Monrovia, Liberia.

She was Winnie and Nelson’s youngest daughter and rose to international prominence when she read out her father’s rejection of then-president P.W. Botha’s offer of a conditional release from prison in 1985.

Zindi’s mother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela served as an MP in the South African parliament.

She served from 1994 to 2003, and from 2009 until her death, and was a deputy minister of arts and culture from 1994 to 1996.

South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness at her passing days before Nelson Mandela’s birthday and said she brought home “the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom”.

“After our liberation she became an icon of the task we began of transforming our society and stepping into spaces and opportunities that had been denied to generations of South Africans,” Ramaphosa’s office quoted him as saying.

Zindzi she served as deputy president of the Soweto Youth Congress and was an underground operative for the African National Congress (ANC) party’s armed wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe.

Pule Mabe, spokesman of the governing ANC party, said: “This is untimely. She still had a role to play in the transformation of our own society and a bigger role to play even in the African National Congress.”

Additional reporting by Reuters

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