Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane

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Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane
South Africa Ambassador to Denmark
Assumed office
President Jacob Zuma
Personal details
Born (1960-12-23) 23 December 1960 (age 56)
Spouse(s) one and Molapo Motlhajwa
Parents Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela

Zindziswa Mandela-Hlongwane (born December 23, 1960) is a South African politician who is currently serving as her country's ambassador to Denmark. The daughter of anti-apartheid activists Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Zindzi is the younger sister of Zenani Mandela and the third of his three daughters.[1]


Zindzi was born on 23 December 1960 in Soweto to Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela. This was the year that the African National Congress launched an armed wing. Her parents were wanted by the government.[2] By the time her father was sent to prison Zindzi was 18 months old. During her youth Zindzi was often left in the care of her older sister Zenani Mandela when her mother was sent to prison for months at a time.

In 1977 her mother was banished to the Free State and Zindzi lived with her. Zindzi was not able to complete her education until she was sent to Swaziland.[2] Eventually her mother was allowed to move back to Soweto.

In 1985 her father was offered a conditional release by the South African president, PW Botha. Her father's reply could not be delivered by her parents and Zindzi was chosen to read his refusal at a public meeting on 10 February 1985.[3]

Release of father and First Lady[edit]

When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, immediate talks began between the unbanned political party the ANC, and the ruling government the National Party to dismantle the Apartheid system.

With then ANC president Oliver Tambo's health deteriorating, Mandela was elected as the new ANC president and a candidate for the President of South Africa in the upcoming 1994 general elections.


Mandela-Hlongwane is said to have agreed to arrange a boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao to coincide with her fathers birthday in 2011. The match did not take place and the boxing promoter Duane Moody sued successfully for a US court to order that she pay $4.7m, plus costs, in damages to Moody. Mandela-Hlongwane was expected to appeal.[1]

In 2014 she was reported to be South Africa's ambassador to Denmark. She first arrived in Denmark in June 2015.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Zindzi has been married twice and has four children by her first husband. Her children are Zoleka Mandela, (1980), Zondwa Mandela (1985), Bambatha Mandela (1989) and Zwelabo Mandela (1992).[5] She married her second husband, Molapo Motlhajwa, who was a member of the South African National Defence Force in March 2013.[6]

In popular media[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nelson Mandela's daughter ordered to pay promoter $7.5m after failing to stage boxing megafight, Paul Thompson, 3 January 2012, Daily Mail, Retrieved 5 May 2016
  2. ^ a b Zindzi Mandela born, SAHistory.org.za, Retrieved 5 May 2016
  3. ^ Zindzi Mandela reads her father’s rejection to PW Both in 1985, SABC Digital News, Retrieved 5 May 2016
  4. ^ Mandela finally in Denmark, Ben Hamilton, 26 June 2015, CPGPost, Retrieved 5 May 2016
  5. ^ Nelson Mandelas Family tree, SAHistory, Retrieved 24 November 2016
  6. ^ Mandela's daughter marries MK veteran, Retrieved 5 May 2016
  7. ^ Battersby 2011, p. 601; Keller, Bill (15 August 2008). "Entering the Scrum". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 February 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2013.