Zindzi Mandela, the 59-year-old daughter of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, has died. She was born in the year of the Sharpeville massacre, when South African police shot 69 peaceful demonstrators protesting against the Apartheid pass laws. Her father was already in prison for six years. As a teenager, Zindzi joined the struggle against white minority rule, often at her mother's side.
In 1985, she made a momentous speech at the Jabulani stadium near Soweto. In that speech Zindzi read a letter from her father to the Apartheid regime. Mandela bluntly refused to accept the conditions for a possible release. Then President P.W. Botha had offered the ANC leader to be freedom on condition that he distance himself from the resistance movement against Apartheid. Mandela said: ‘I will not be free as long as you are not free’. Mandela did not want to leave prison and leave thousands of comrades behind bars. Mandela said: ‘I will not sell out’.
Zindzi's speech was broadcast worldwide. Her speech impressed not only the millions of countrymen who suffered under a system labelled as 'a crime against humanity' by the United Nations but a multitude of people internationally who supported this struggle.
In South Africa people will say: Hamba Kahle, Zindzi, go well. Rest in peace.
Watch Zindzi's speech here.