President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that he was deeply saddened to hear of Zindziwa Nobutho Mandela’s death.
Ramaphosa said it was at a Johannesburg hospital that Mandela died in the early hours of Monday morning.
“I offer my deep condolences to the Mandela family as we mourn the passing of a fearless political activist who was a leader in her own right. Our sadness is compounded by this loss being visited upon us just days before the world marks the birthday of the great Nelson Mandela,” he said in a statement sent out on Monday morning.
He also sent condolences to Mandela’s “immediate family, the Mandela family at large, friends of the late Ambassador, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation”.
“The President’s condolences are extended also to the late Ambassador’s colleagues in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the diplomatic community in South Africa and Denmark.”
Mandela was the youngest daughter of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
“Zindzi Mandela was a household name nationally and internationally, who during our years of struggle brought home the inhumanity of the apartheid system and the unshakeable resolve of our fight for freedom,” said the president.
“After our liberation, she became an icon of the task we began of transforming our society and stepping into spaces and opportunities that had been denied to generations of South Africans,” he added.
Ramaphosa finally added she was one of the people who fought for our freedom and was owed that rememberence.
“Her spirit joins Tata Madiba and Mama Winnie in a reunion of leaders to whom we owe our freedom.”
Mandela was raised in Soweto and educated in South Africa and Swaziland. She spent many years involved in the liberation struggle and embraced roles in the arts, philanthropy and business.
In her political career, she served as deputy president of the Soweto Youth Congress, was a member of the Release Mandela Campaign, and was an underground operative of Umkhonto we Sizwe.
She had been posted to Denmark in 2015 and had been designated to become South Africa’s Head of Mission in Monrovia, Liberia.
Speaking to the SABC, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu added on Monday that her position in Denmark had come to an end.
DEBT OF GRATITUDE
Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo has hailed Zindzi Mandela for her contribution to global peace and freedom.
Makhubo said that Mandela dedicated her life to the cause of the people and also represented South Africa on the international stage.
He said that she persevered despite her rights being violated at the hands of the apartheid regime, and the City of Joburg was indebted to her for her fearlessness and bravery.
Makhubo’s spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said that it was unfortunate that residents would not be allowed to gather in numbers to say their last goodbyes.
“She nailed her own name to the mast of those who took up arms against the brutal apartheid regime and bears the scars of having fought for the freedom of our country. As the City of Johannesburg, the mayor has expressed that we owe a great deal of gratitude to Ambassador Mandela for her bravery and fearlessness.”