Nelson Mandela’s Daughter Zindzi Has Died At Age 59

Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela has died aged 59, local media reported Monday.

She was ambassador to Denmark at the time of her death.

“The 59-year-old daughter of former president Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela, passed away at a Johannesburg hospital in the early hours of this morning,” said public broadcaster SABC

Nelson Mandela's Daughter Zindzi

The cause of her death was not immediately revealed.

Zindziswa Mandela, who is also known as Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, was born on 23 December 1960 in Soweto was a South African politician who was serving as her country’s ambassador to Denmark at the time of her death.

The daughter of anti-apartheid activists Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Zindzi was the younger sister of Zenani Mandela and the third of Nelson Mandela’s three daughters.

The year of her birth was also the year that the African National Congress (ANC) launched an armed wing. Her parents were wanted by the government. By the time her father was sent to prison Zindzi was 18 months old.

During her youth Zindzi was often left in the care of her older sister Zenani Mandela when her mother was sent to prison for months at a time.

Racism controversy

In June 2019, while Ambassador to Denmark, Mandela’s Twitter account sent a series of increasingly strongly worded Tweets, where she discussed “trembling white cowards who are the thieving rapist descendants of Van Riebeck” and “uninvited visitors who don’t want to leave” that caused significant controversy.

Mandela-Hlongwane had previously that month expressed her “deep, pure unconditional love and respect” for “CIC” (leader) of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema.

While being investigated by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) for breaching their social media policy, Mandela remained defiant, tweeting that “I am not accountable to any white man or woman for my personal views. No missus or baas here. Get over yourselves #OurLand”.

She was ordered by foreign minister Naledi Pandor to “conduct herself as a diplomat” and to adhere to the department’s social media policy, and concern about her views was expressed by former president Thabo Mbeki, and her views were described as hate speech by ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang, while her opinions drew support from the EFF and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala. Her Tweets came close to the end of her four-year term as ambassador to Denmark.

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Written by Mateen Badru


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