Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 59 just seven years after her father passed away.
STATE television South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that Ms Mandela had died in hospital in Johannesburg early on Monday morning, details of the cause of her death remain unknown at this time, she was South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark.
The news was confirmed this morning by the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Mandelas’ daughter came to international prominence in 1985, when the white minority government offered to release Nelson Mandela from prison if he denounced violence perpetrated by his movement, the Africa National Congress, against apartheid, the brutal system of racial discrimination enforced in South Africa at that time.
When she was 18 months old, her father was sent to prison. Her mother was also imprisoned often at the time, sometimes for months on end, leaving Zindzi in the care of her elder sibling, Zenani.
In 1977 Madikizela-Mandela was banished to Brandfort, then in the Orange Free State, and Zindzi moved with her, taking her out of her normal life. She then moved to Swaziland, and upon finishing high school, enrolled at the University of Cape Town for a law degree. She and her sister soon became effective spokespeople for her imprisoned parents.
In 1985, the year she graduated, Zindzi was selected to read her father’s refusal speech after the then president PW Botha offered him conditional release from prison.