Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of South African anti-apartheid leaders Nelson and Winnie Mandela, has died at the age of 59.
South African Broadcasting Corporation reports that she died in a hospital in Johannesburg earlier this morning.
The cause of death is still sketchy.
Zindzi was working as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark before she died.
She first came to international prominence in 1985, when the white minority government offered to release her father from prison if he denounced violence perpetrated by the Africa National Congress against the apartheid in South Africa.
Zindzi read his letter rejecting the offer at a packed public meeting which was broadcast around the world.
During the course of her life, Zindzi Mandela worked as an anti-apartheid activist and temporarily served as the nation’s First Lady following her father’s election and her parents’ divorce until 1998. She studied law at the University of Cape Town and published a book of poetry entitled Black as I am in 1978.
As a child, she spent a lot of time being raised by her sister Zenani, as both her parents spent time in prison. Her father went to prison when she was just 18 months old and remained there until 1990.
The former President of South Africa died in 2013, while her mother Winnie passed away in April 2018. Zindzi Mandela is survived by her four children Zoleka, Zondwa, Bambatha and Zwelabo, her husband Molapo and grandchildren.
Bambatha posted a tribute to his mother on Instagram, captioning a photo of her with the words ‘Lala ngo xolo Madlomo’, which translates to ‘Sleep in peace Madam’.
Naledi Pandor, South African minister of international relations and cooperation, paid tribute to Zindzi online, stating that ‘she served South Africa well’. She said: ‘Zindzi Mandela 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.’
South African journalist and music producer Mzilikazi wa Afrika shared a series of photos of Zindzi, writing alongside: ‘The giant tree has fallen, the daughter of the soil Zindzi Mandela is no more and may your soul Rest In Peace.’
The Street Journal/UK Metro