Zindzi Mandela dies at 59

By Edward Tsumele

Zindziswa “Zindzi’ Mandela, the youngest daughter of the late former President Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela has died. Zindzi died Monday morning, July, 13, at a Johannesburg hospital. The cause of her death has not yet been disclosed.

Zindzi during her life time, especially in the post apartheid South Africa has had a varied career, a businesswoman, a diplomat and a music promoter known for bringing the famed American R&B group Boys 2 Men in 1995 to South Africa. At the time of her showbiz promotion stint, she worked with the late culture extraordinaire Arabi Mocheke.

However in recent years Zindzi was roped into government as part of the diplomatic corps, including working as South African ambassador to Denmark.

“We have been shocked to wake to the news of the untimely passing of Zindziswa Mandela. On a day when we are marking the anniversary of another terrible moment – when Madiba’s son Thembekile died in a car accident in 1969. Zindzi was someone we had come to know well and to love. She was our friend.

We will also remember her as a special soul. She worked with the Foundation on many projects over the years, for instance the book Hunger for Freedom, by author Anna Trapido. We valued her generosity, her warmth and her sense of humour.

She was always patient in responding to our requests for information and other forms of assistance. And we admired her strength in dealing with life’s challenges and tragedies,” a statement from the Nelson Mandela Foundation said. Zindzi was 59 years old. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. Her father Mandela died in 2013, while her mother Winnie followed in 2018.

“I feel paralysed today. My heart is broken,” said Sello Hatang the chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

May her soul rest in peace.

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