Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, is dead. She passed away in a Johannesburg hospital at the age of 59, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the passing of South Africa’s former Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark, Her Excellency Ms Zindziswa “Zindzi” Nobutho Mandela.
“Ambassador Mandela passed away in the early hours of today, 13 July 2020, in a Johannesburg hospital at the age of 59,” the presidency said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.
She had been posted to Denmark in 2015 and had been designated to become South Africa’s Head of Mission in Monrovia, Liberia.
The President offers his sincere condolences to the Ambassador’s immediate family, the Mandela family at large, friends of the late Ambassador, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The President’s condolences are extended also to the late Ambassador’s colleagues in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the diplomatic community in South Africa and Denmark.
Ambassador Mandela was the youngest daughter of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela.
She was raised in Soweto and educated South Africa and Swaziland.
Zindzi Mandela spent many years involved in the liberation struggle and embraced roles in the arts, philanthropy and business.
In her political career she served as Deputy President of the Soweto Youth Congress, was a member of the Release Mandela Campaign, and was an underground operative of Umkhonto weSizwe.
President Ramaphosa said: “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.
“Zindzi Mandela was a household name nationally and internationally, who during our years of struggle brought home the inhumanity of the apartheid system and 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.
“Her spirit joins Tata Madiba and Mama Winnie in a reunion of leaders to whom we owe our freedom.”