Zindzi Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s daughter, dies at 59

Mourners say that she was oftentimes reduced to the speech she read on her fathers behalf, but as a leader she was so much more

The daughter of anti-apartheid iconic leaders, Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela has passed away. 

Zindzi Mandela was 59 years old. 

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She was the South African Ambassador to Denmark and her death was confirmed by the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation today. 

“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. She served South Africa well.” Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations, said in a short statement. 

The cause of Zindzi Mandela’s death has not been announced, but the office plans to issue a longer statement at a later date. 

One mourner noted that Zindzi is often reduced to a speech she read on behalf of her father.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his regards. “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 said. 

“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 the youngest daughter of the iconic leaders. Her father died in 2013 at the age of 95, her mother died in 2018 at the age of 81. 

Her sister, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini is the South African Ambassador to South Korea. 

Winnie and Nelson Mandela were known for their work in dismantling apartheid in South Africa. In the fight for his work, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. He was released in 1990. 

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The Nelson Mandela Foundation told CNN that it is consulting with the family before releasing its statement. 

The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation released a statement mourning Zindzi Mandela saying that she was “a child of the nation,” they said that losing her means that the country has lost “an important generational link connecting our divided history to the promise of better, more inclusive tomorrows.” 

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