Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died aged 59.
Daughter to the late Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, she was South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark at the time of her death. She had been designated to become South Africa’s envoy to Liberia after her stint in Copenhagen, which started in 2015.
“Ambassador Mandela passed away in the early hours of today (Monday), 13 July 2020, in a Johannesburg hospital,” SA President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.
The cause of her death was not immediately revealed. The Mandela family released a brief statement announcing her death, which said she was survived by her children and grandchildren.
Zindzi was born and raised in Soweto and was educated both at home and in neighbouring Swaziland. She grew up while her father was incarcerated by the apartheid regime for 27 years.
Like her parents, she was involved in the liberation struggle and was an active member of the African National Congress (ANC) youth movement.
Her father Mandela died in December 2013 at the age of 95. The anniversary of his birth is on July 18. While her mother, Winnie a prominent anti-apartheid activist and politician died on the 2nd of April 2018.
Only two of Mandela’s five children survive. Zenani, 61, is South Africa’s ambassador to Argentina while Makaziwe, 66, is a businesswoman in South Africa.
His eldest child Thembekile was killed in a car crash on the same day as his sister (July 13) back in 1969. His other son, Makgatho Mandela died of an AIDS-related illness in 2005.
Mandela spoke openly about the cause of his son’s death, becoming one of the first public figures to break the taboo around the AIDS epidemic that had engulfed South Africa.
This article is courtesy of Capital News.