Son Zondwa and sister Zenani lead final farewell to Zindzi Mandela
Family and friends of the late Zindziswa “Zindzi” Mandela gathered at Fourways, north of Johannesburg, on Friday morning to lay her to rest.
Zindzi died on Monday at the age of 59. She died of complications related to Covid-19.
A guard of honour lined the entrance to the chapel as her coffin was escorted across a red carpet, as family and friends observed the sombre moment. Strict Covid-19 protocols were followed by the mourners.
Her son Zondwa and sister Zenani will speak during the private family service inside the chapel, which will be led by Methodist bishop Gary Rivas.
A video tribute from her grandchildren will be shown.
The ANC's Jeff Radebe will also address mourners, the funeral programme shows.
After the service, Zindzi will be buried alongside her mother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela - two years after the struggle stalwart was laid to rest at the family grave site.
As Zindzi’s coffin was taken out of a white mortuary van at Fourways Memorial Park, it was draped in a pink blanket.
Two people believed to be close family members spoke over the coffin as it was removed from the van.
It is tradition in the African culture for elders of the family to inform the deceased when they are moved from one place to another until they reach the grave site.
Family, children, grandchildren, close friends and leaders of political parties were seen entering the chapel. Among those spotted were close family friend Julius Malema, EFF national chairperson Advocate Dali Mpofu, human settlements and water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Zindzi’s son, Zondwa’s, wife.
The Fourways memorial park is also the final resting place of two of Madikizela-Mandela's great-grandchildren.
The one grave is that of baby Zenawe Zibuyile Mandela‚ who died in 2011 after being born three months prematurely to Zoleka Mandela and actor Sekoati Tsubane.
The other is the grave of Zenani Mandela‚ who died aged 13 in a car accident after the 2010 Soccer World Cup kickoff concert‚ also at Orlando Stadium. After her death‚ the Zenani Campaign‚ led by her mother Zoleka Mandela and grandmother Zindzi Mandela‚ was launched to contribute to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety‚ which aims to improve the level of protection for children on roads mainly in developing countries.
President Cyril Ramaphosa this week said Zindzi had devoted her life to fellow South Africans.
“Zindzi has departed this life but her legacy will live on in our minds and in our hearts.”
Born in 1960 to a couple at the forefront of the fight against apartheid, Ramaphosa said Zindzi grew up to be a courageous freedom fighter in her own right.
Zindzi was the youngest daughter of former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Madikizela-Mandela. She was raised in Soweto and educated in SA and Swaziland.
Mandla and Ndileka Mandela penned heartfelt tributes to Zindzi, who was an SA ambassador to Denmark.
“We shall always treasure fond memories of her as a feisty, fearless and proud freedom fighter in her own right,” Mandla said.
Ndileka described Zindzi as a “true gallant fighter”, who had become more like a big sister than an aunt.
The funeral is taking place one day before the world commemorates international Nelson Mandela Day, which marks acts of benevolence in the name of the late famed statesman on his birth date.
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