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Zoleka Mandela has passed away at the age of 43

Zoleka Mandela, granddaughter of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela Mandela, has passed away at the age of 43.

She died on Monday after a prolonged battle with cancer.

According to a statement released by her family, Zoleka was admitted to hospital on 18 September 2023 for ongoing treatment for cancer of the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord. Recent scans also revealed significant progression of the disease, including lung fibrosis and several emboli (blood clots).

Zoleka’s death fell one day before her grandmother, Winnie’s birthday. The struggle stalwart would have been 87 this year.

Image: zolekamandela/Instagram

In August last year, Zoleka confirmed that she had cancer of the liver and lungs. In her autiobiography, When Hope Whispers, the author documented her 10-year journey with breast cancer, and was known as a cancer survivor.

“What do I tell my children? How do I tell them that this time around I may not get to live my life as a survivor? How do I tell them everything will be OK when it’s not? I’m dying ... I don’t want to die,” Zoleka posted on social media after the diagnosis.

Zoleka was surrounded by friends and family at the time of her death. Prayers and well wishes have flooded her timeline since the announcement of the tragic news.

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