Zindziswa Mandela, the daughter of South African anti-apartheid leaders, Nelson and Winnie Mandela who passed away earlier in the week may have died of Covid-19 after all.
Her son, Zondwa Mandela, told SABC that his mum had tested positive for Covid-19 on the day of her death but it was unclear if the disease caused her death as the autopsy report is still being awaited.
“Simply by the virtue that there was a positive test, we are therefore obligated to function and work within the framework of the existing regulation related to such cases,” he said.
Zindziswa Mandela’s death was announced Monday, by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) but the cause of death was not made public then.
Aged 59, Zindzi who was until her death South African ambassador to Denmark, rose to international prominence in 1985 when she read out her father’s letter rejecting then-president P.W. Botha’s offer for freedom in 1985 at an ANC packed rally.
State broadcaster SABC reports that Zizi died in a hospital in Johannesburg but did not report the cause of 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’’ said ANC spokesman Pule Mabe.
Mabe said further details would be provided in due course.
Last year Zindzi stirred controversy by calling for the return of the white-owned land to South Africa’s dispossessed Black majority.
‘’Dear Apartheid Apologists, your time is over. You will not rule again. We do not fear you. Finally, #TheLandIsOurs,’’ she tweeted in June last year.
South Africa’s foreign affairs minister Naledi Pandor expressed shock at Zindzi Mandela’s death, describing her as a heroine. ‘’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,’’ said Pandor.
She is survived by her husband and four children.