Zindzi Mandela was a true hero - ANC's Jeff Radebe

Mandela was laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park in north Johannesburg on Friday morning.

FILE: Zindzi Mandela speaks onstage during the 2013 BAFTA LA Jaguar Britannia Awards presented by BBC America at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 9 November 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) heavyweight Jeff Radebe has hailed Zindzi Mandela as a true hero, who was prepared to lay down her life for the freedom of South Africans.

Mandela was laid to rest at the Fourways Memorial Park in north Johannesburg on Friday morning.

The activist and ambassador to Denmark died on Monday at the age of 59.

Speaking after the private funeral service, Radebe said that she was a leader in her own right.

"She was even prepared to lay down her own life, joining uMkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC. There are many stories being told by Minister Ayanda Dlodlo last night about her activism in terms of ensuring the safety of our comrades but also being involved in action herself."

Meanwhile, ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane said that she would forever treasure her friendship with Zindzi Mandela.

"The invisible enemy took her away from us when she has survived bullets, torture and the pain inflicted by the apartheid system."


Family and close friends said that they were still reeling from the sudden death of the former South African ambassador to Denmark.

In stark contrast to the funeral held for her mother, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela two years ago, Zindzi's send-off was a low key and intimate event, with mourners having to comply with strict COVID-19 regulations.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, who is a close family friend, said that he was still in shock.

“She survived the most brutal regime at an early age, and we thought that this crisis and this invisible enemy that we are faced with today, she is going to survive because she has seen worse.”

He said that Mandela was fearless and never shied away from speaking her mind.

“Zindzi was the most fearless young woman during her time, speaks her mind as an ambassador... you will threaten her and tell her that you remove her as ambassador and think that she will be scared. She was never scared, even with those threats she kept on pushing.”

The ANC is expected to launch a virtual memorial service platform to document the lives of those who have died during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

A tribute will also be delivered for Zindzi Mandela on Friday afternoon.

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