Zindzi Mandela, youngest daughter of former South African President Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, tested positive for Covid-19 the day she died.
This fact, widely known informally but initially not confirmed, was made public by the Mandela family as the Covid storm engulfing the country threatened to close schools again, perhaps for the rest of the academic year.
The confirmation that she tested positive on the last day of her life came in spite of the Mandela family’s aversion to discussing their members’ health in public, a practice which arose in the final years of Madiba’s life when there was much speculation over his health.
Ms Mandela, who was the country's Ambassador to Denmark, died in a Johannesburg hospital in the early hours of Monday morning, aged 59.
“Simply by virtue that there was a positive test, we are therefore obligated to function and work within the framework of the existing regulations related to such cases,” her son Zondwa Mandela said.
She will be buried on Friday.