Zindzi Mandela dies on the same day as her brother Madiba Thembekile in 1969

News of the death of Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, the eldest daughter of late former South African President and anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela, broke on Monday morning.

Her death was confirmed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Zindziswa, 59, also known as Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, was until her death South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, a position she took in June 2015.

The country’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor said she had learnt with shock, the news of the passing of  Zindzi Mandela.

“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,” teh minister said.

By coincidence, Zindziswa died on the same day in 1969 Mandela’s eldest son Madiba Thembekile (Thembi) died in a car accident in Cape Town.

Thembi died when three cars collided on the fog-bound Touws River road, leaving four people dead and another four injured.

Mandela was not allowed by the Apartheid authorities to attend Thembi’s funeral or to have access to details about the fatal crash.

Zindziswa was born on December 23, 1960. She is survived by her four children and her husband. President Uhuru Kenyatta has since sent a message of condolence to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Mandela family and South Africans.

“The President wished the Mandela family God’s comfort as they mourn their departed kin,” State House said on Monday.


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