Zindzi, the youngest daughter to Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, has died at the age of 59.


Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, who confirmed the tragic news in a statement, said she breathed her last in Johannesburg on Monday.

The cause of her death wasn’t revealed.

“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,” Ramaphosa wrote in a tributary tweet.


“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 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.”


Before her death, Zindzi, who is the third of Nelson Mandela’s three daughters, had been serving as a South African diplomat and poet who doubled as her country’s ambassador to Denmark.


She was the family member who read out Mandela’s rejection of the then-President Pieter Botha’s offer for conditional release from prison at a public meeting in February 1985.

Having married twice, Zindzi is survived by her four children — Zoleka Mandela (1980), Zondwa Mandela (1985), Bambatha Mandela (1989), and Zwelabo Mandela (1992).

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