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Zindzi Mandela had tested positive for Covid-19, says son

The Star logo The Star 2020-07-16 Botho Molosankwe
Zindzi Mandela posing for the camera: Zindzi Mandela died at the age of 59 on Monday. Picture: Phil McCarten/Reuters © Provided by Independent Media Zindzi Mandela died at the age of 59 on Monday. Picture: Phil McCarten/Reuters

Johannesburg - Zindzi Mandela will be buried on Friday, a day before the world celebrates her father's birthday.

The news was confirmed by her son Zondwa, who also said on SABC's Full View her mother had tested positive for Covid-19 prior to her death.

However, the family was still awaiting autopsy results to know the cause of death, he said

"There were other tests that were conducted and my mother did in fact test positive for Covid-19 on the day of her passing. Although this doesn't therefore mean that she died of Covid-related complications but simply that she tested positive for it.

“Several other tests have been done and those tests will give us further information as to what could have led to her untimely death,” Zondwa said.

Mandela was the younger of the Mandela daughters, and regarded by many as a child of the nation. She accompanied her mother into banishment at Brandfort, and visited her father on Robben Island from the age of 16.

In a moving tribute to his aunt, Mandla Mandela said his earliest and fondest childhood recollection of her was his mispronunciation of her name.

"I called her Zinjisha much to everyone's amusement. I have fond memories of the ride to Brandfort in her purple Beetle to visit Mam Winnie. She and my dad were also instrumental in arranging my visit to Pollsmoor Prison to meet my grandfather for the first time. I am eternally indebted as this marked an important milestone in my life and the genesis of my political education at a tender young age."

President Cyril Ramaphosa also said Mandela's death five days before her father’s birthday compounded the sadness of the loss.

Mandela's funeral is expected to start at 7am.

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