South Africa: Nelson Mandela's Granddaughter Dies

Zoleka Mandela, in her role as United Nations Ambassador for the Safe Roads Programme, at the opening of the 2nd High-Level Global Conference on Road Safety, in Brazil in 2015.
26 September 2023

The Mandela family made the sad announcement on Instagram, sharing that the 43-year-old Zoleka was surrounded by loved ones during her last moments.

Zoleka's journey was filled with personal struggles, which she tackled with resilience and transparency.

She gained attention in recent years for her candidness about her cancer treatment. Besides her health challenges, she was open about confronting drug addiction, depression, and surviving childhood sexual abuse.

Another tragic chapter in Zoleka's life was the untimely death of her 13-year-old daughter in a car accident in 2010. This personal loss transformed her into a passionate advocate for better road safety measures.

Her autobiography, "When Hope Whispers," paints a vivid picture of her life, highlighting her struggles, her journey of healing, and her spirit of hope against overwhelming odds.

Zoleka's fight with cancer began over a decade ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Following her treatment, she experienced a period of remission. However, the disease resurfaced, affecting her liver and lungs before spreading to other organs.

In an Instagram post on 17 September, Zoleka shared a health update, writing: "I had a CT scan administered a few weeks back, which has shown that I have blood clots as well as Fibrosis in my lung.

"This explains the chest pains I have been feeling. My medical oncologist has recommended blood thinners and oral chemo. On the upside, I'm incredibly grateful that I am still treatable."


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