“Fearless” Zindzi Mandela, who was serving as the South African ambassador to Denmark, died on Sunday night. She leaves behind four children Zoleka, Zondwa, Bambatha and Zwelabo and husband Molapo
Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi has died aged 59 – seven years after her hero dad’s death.
The news was confirmed this morning by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, according to local media.
It is understood Ms Mandela died on Sunday night at a hospital in Johannesburg.
The cause of her death has not yet been confirmed.
Ms Mandela had been serving as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark.
She leaves behind four children Zoleka, Zondwa, Bambatha and Zwelabo as well as husband Molapo.
Bambatha shared a tribute to his mother on Instagram with the caption “Lala ngo xolo Madlomo”, which translates to English as “Sleep in peace Madam”.
Dozens of other tributes are also being paid online.
Journalist and music producer Mzilikazi wa Afrika said: “The giant tree has fallen, the daughter of the soil @ZindziMandela is no more and may your soul Rest In Peace Zindziswa Mandela #RIPZindziMandela.”
Another wrote: “You were fearless in tackling real issues. Your history and your life will not be forgotten. Rest in peace daughter of giants.”
Ms Mandela’s death comes seven years after her father died on December 5, 2013.
Ms Mandela’s mother Winnie – a South African anti-apartheid campaigner – died aged 81 in 2018.
Her father Nelson, also affectionately known as Madiba, spent 27 years in prison, many of them on Robben Island, before his release in 1990.
Ms Mandela was just 18 months old when her dad was jailed.
He went on to become the first president of South Africa in the fully democratic post-apartheid era, serving from 1994 to 1999.
In 2013, Ms Mandela described the biopic about her late father as “fantastic” at the premiere, moments before learning of his death.
She was told during a glitzy red carpet film premiere in Leicester Square – in his honour – that he had passed away.
She also praised lead actor Idris Elba and said: “I think he is brilliant, he has captured the essence so well.
“He has never even had the opportunity to meet my father.”
Ms Mandela went on to follow in her father’s footsteps into politics.
She rose to international prominence when she read out her father’s rejection of then-president P.W. Botha’s offer for freedom in 1985.
African National Congress spokesman Pule Mabe said of Ms Mandela’s death: “This is untimely. She still had a role to play in the transformation of our own society and a bigger role to play even in the African National Congress.”
Ms Mandela was also founder of Mandela Legacy focusing on the pursuit of economic and political equality.
Naledi Pandor, South African minister of international relations and cooperation, said: “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. May her soul rest in peace.”
Herman Mashaba, former mayor of Johannesburg, added: “What sad news to wake up to. Gone far too soon.
“Rest in peace, Zindzi. Sending my deepest condolences to the Mandela family.”