The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has described Zindziswa Mandela’s death as the loss of an important link between South Africa’s past and future.

The Foundation says in a statement that for the 27 years that former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, his family – wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and daughters Zindzi and Zenani – played a critical role in symbolising the humanity and steadfastness of the anti-apartheid struggle.

“With Zindzi’s death, aged just 59, South Africa loses an important generational link connecting our divided history to the promise of better, more inclusive, tomorrows.”

Zindzi, who served as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, 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 1985, with South Africa in the depths of a brutally enforced State of Emergency, Zindzi’s speech in Soweto, on behalf of her father, rejecting PW Botha’s offer of a conditional release, reinvigorated the values and principles of the struggle.”

In the video below Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane reads her father’s letter:

The Foundation states that Zindzi’s loss will be felt by all South Africans.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. May Zindzi rest in peace and rise in glory.”

In the video below Tandi Mahambehlala the Chairperson of Parliament Portfolio Committe on International Relations reacts to the passing of Zindzi