On the Passing of Her Excellency Ambassador Zindziswa Mandela-Hlongwane

Statement by
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
Founder and President Emeritus of the Inkatha Freedom Party

This morning’s unexpected news of the passing of Her Excellency Ambassador Zindziswa Nobutho Mandela-Hlongwane has come as a terrible shock. On behalf of my family and on behalf of the IFP, I send sincere condolences to the Mandela family and particularly to her children. It is difficult to believe that someone so full of life and energy is no longer with us.

As a friend of her late parents, I have known Zindziswa all her life and I have the greatest respect for the choice she made to serve our country. She honoured the legacy of our first democratic President and continued the legacy of the mother of our nation. Yet she was an individual and a leader in her own right.

I have seldom met anyone with such tenacity of spirit. Zindziswa endured tremendous heartache in her childhood, being separated from her father and often also from her mother. Yet she grew up to have a fierce love of country, where she could so easily have harboured hatred.

It is painful to know that we will not be able to mourn her death properly, as the restrictions of a global pandemic prevent the kind of funeral that would be appropriate. In this strange time, Zindziswa’s own words echo in my heart. Considering the pain of loss, she wrote –

“I need a neighbour who will live
a teardrop away
who will open up when I knock
late at night.”

While we cannot physically gather, we are united in grief. Our prayers are with Her Excellency Princess Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, and with the entire family. We pray that they will be strengthened by the outpouring of support and condolences.

May Her Excellency Ambassador Zindziswa Mandela-Hlongwane rest in peace.

Mkhuleko Hlengwa MP
IFP National Spokesperson
071 111 0539