Makgatho Mandela

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Makgatho Mandela
Makgatho Mandela.jpg
Makgatho Lewanika Mandela

26 June 1950
Died6 January 2005(2005-01-06) (aged 54)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Cause of deathAIDS
SpousesRose Rayne Perry
Children4 (including Mandla Mandela and
Ndaba Mandela)
Parent(s)Nelson Mandela
Evelyn Mase
RelativesThembekile Mandela (brother)
Makaziwe Mandela (sister)
Zenani Mandela-Dlamini (half-sister)
Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane (half-sister)

Makgatho Lewanika Mandela (26 June 1950 – 6 January 2005) was the son of Nelson Mandela and his first wife Evelyn Mase. He is the father of Ndaba Mandela. He died of AIDS on 6 January 2005 in Johannesburg.[1]

Circumstances surrounding his death[edit]

His second wife Zondi died on 13 July 2003 at age 46. At first, her cause of death was given as pneumonia; after Makgatho's death, his son from his previous marriage Mandla later announced that her pneumonia had been a complication of AIDS.[2]

When Nelson Mandela announced the cause of his son's death, he said: "Let us give publicity to HIV/AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like tuberculosis, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of HIV/AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary."[3]

Family and legacy[edit]

He was married twice. His first wife was Rose Rayne Perry (later known as Nolusapho). His second wife was Zondi. He had four sons: Zwelivelile "Mandla" (1974), Ndaba Mandela (1982), Mbuso Mandela (1991) and Andile Mandela (1993). [4] Makgatho Mandela is sometimes wrongly referred to as the older son of Nelson Mandela, but his brother Madiba Thembekile "Thembi" Mandela was born in 1945. Thembi was killed in a car crash in 1969.[5][6][7]

Due to Nelson Mandela having renounced his hereditary claim and Thembi's early death, Makgatho rose to become heir apparent to the chieftaincy that had once been held by Henry Mandela, Nelson's father. Upon his own death, his claim passed to his son Mandla, who eventually succeeded to the title.


  1. ^ Timberg, Craig (7 January 2005). "Mandela Says AIDS Led to Death of Son". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ Beresford, David (16 January 2006). "Mandela family united by grief and fight against Aids". The Observer. Retrieved 23 April 2007.
  3. ^ Wines, Michael (6 January 2005). "Breaking Taboo, Mandela Reveals Son Died of AIDS". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Genealogy – Nelson Mandela Foundation". Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Genealogy". Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Nelson Mandela Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Honouring Thembekile Mandela". Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. Nelson Mandela Foundation. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Mandela family feud turns ugly". Retrieved 2 February 2021.

External links[edit]