The youngest daughter of former South African president and liberation hero Nelson Mandela died Monday in a Johannesburg hospital at the age of 59, according to reports.
Zindzi Mandela gained prominence internationally when she read Nelson Mandela’s rejection of the then president’s offer, PW Botha, for parole from prison in 1985, Reuters reported.
The Mandela Legacy Foundation said that the memorial and funeral arrangements for Zindzi would be announced in a few days. No cause of death has been reported.
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Botha offered to release Mandela from prison if he denounced the violence perpetrated by his movement, the African National Congress, against apartheid, the brutal system of racial discrimination applied in South Africa at the time.
Zindzi Mandela read her offer rejection letter at a busy public meeting that was broadcast worldwide.
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Last year, Zindzi Mandela sparked controversy by calling for the return of land belonging to whites, the black majority dispossessed of South Africa.
“Dear apartheid apologists, your time is over. You will no longer govern. We don’t fear you. Finally #TheLandIsOurs ”, she tweeted last June.
South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Naledi Pandor was shocked by the death of Mandela, describing her as a heroine.
“Zindzi will not only be remembered as a daughter of our wrestling heroes, Tata Nelson and Mama Winnie Mandela, but as a full-blown wrestling heroine. It has served South Africa well, ”said Pandor.
She is survived by her husband and four children.
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Zindzi Mandela was Nelson Mandela’s sixth child and his second with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his second wife.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.