Nelson Mandela’s youngest daughter, Zindzi, tested positive for COVID-19 on the day she died, according to her son. The 59-year-old South African ambassador to Denmark died earlier this week in a Johannesburg hospital.
"This doesn't mean that she died from COVID complications, but simply that she tested positive for it," her son, Zondwa Mandela, told news outlet SABC. "There were several other tests done and those tests will give us further information as to what could have led to her untimely death."
Zondwa said his family is still awaiting an official autopsy as to what caused his mom’s death. He said that the family is planning a funeral Friday, the day before “Mandela Day,” an international day of service which coincides with Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
Zindzi was not the only member of the Mandela family to contract COVID-19, as her nephew, Ndaba, did in March. He has since recovered.
Zindzi was the sixth and youngest daughter to Nelson Mandela. Her mother was Nelson's second wife, Winnie.
Nelson, who spent 27 years of his life as a political prisoner, was South Africa’s first Black and democratically elected president following the fall of Apartheid in 1994. During his time in prison, Zindzi campaigned to have her father freed.
Zindzi famously and publicly read her father’s rejection of then-president P.W. Botha's offer for conditional release from prison at a public meeting in February 1985.
Zindzi is survived by her four children and two siblings, her sisters Zenani Dlamini and Pumla Makaziwe Mandela. She is predeceased by her parents, Nelson, who did in 2013 at the age of 95, and her mother, Winnie, who died in 2018 at the age of 82.