Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of the South African leader and activist Nelson Mandela, died in the early hours of Monday morning at the age of 59.
She was an activist in her own right, serving South Africa as the ambassador to Denmark at the time of her death.
Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, died yesterday in a Johannesburg hospital at the age of 59.
The announcement was made by the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation, though the cause of her death was not immediately disclosed.
In a public statement, the organisation stated that “Zindzi will not only be remembered as a daughter of our struggle heroes, Tata Nelson and Mama Winnie Mandela, but as a struggle heroine in her own right.”
Ms Mandela had been posted to Denmark in 2015 and had been designated to become South Africa’s head of mission in Monrovia, Liberia.
Growing up at the height of the apartheid struggle in South Africa, Zindzi endured years of harassment and intimidation by the apartheid regime while her father was imprisoned on Robben Island, along with her sister Zenani and her mother Winnie.
She also was the child who famously read Nelson Mandela’s rejection of president PW Botha’s offer for conditional release from prison at a public meeting in February 1985.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was one of many to express his condolences:
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
Only two of Mandela’s six children are still alive today, Zindzi’s sister Zenani Dlamini and Pumla Makaziwe Mandela.