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Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi dies at 59

World News | Published:

At the time of her death, she was South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark.

Zindzi Mandela

Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of South African anti-apartheid leaders Nelson and Winnie Mandela, has died at the age of 59.

State television South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that Ms Mandela died in hospital in Johannesburg early on Monday morning.

The cause of her death has not been announced.

She had been South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark since 2015.

Nelson Mandela memorial
Zindzi Mandela at Westminster Abbey in London following a memorial service for her late father, Nelson Mandela (John Stillwell/PA)

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.

She read his letter rejecting the offer at a packed public meeting which was broadcast around the world.

Last year, Ms Mandela sparked controversy by calling for the return of white-owned land to South Africa’s dispossessed black majority.

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“Dear Apartheid Apologists, your time is over. You will not rule again. We do not fear you. Finally #TheLandIsOurs,” she tweeted in June last year.

South Africa’s foreign affairs minister, Naledi Pandor, expressed shock at Ms Mandela’s death, describing her as a heroine.

“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,” said Ms Pandor.

Ms Mandela is survived by her husband and four children.

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