Author and activist Zoleka Mandela has passed away at the age of 43 following a long battle with cancer.
According to a statement released by her family on Tuesday morning, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela took her last breath in the evening of Monday, 25 September 2023, surrounded by friends and family.
Zoleka’s death comes a week after she was “admitted into hospital for ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer to the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord” and just over a year after she announced her third diagnosis with cancer.
In the past, Zoleka survived breast cancer twice. She documented her first fight against the disease and other struggles in her autobiography When Hope Whispers.
Zoleka leaves behind her four children, son Zwelami (20) and daughters Zanyiwe (9), Zenzile (4) and 17-month-old Zingce Zobuhle, and siblings Zondwa (38), Bambatha (34) and Zwelabo (31). Her 13-year-old daughter Zenani died in a car accident in 2010. In 2011 she lost her newborn son Zenawe. Her mother Zindzi Mandela died in 2020 at the age of 59.