A family spokesperson disclosed in a statement on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, that Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, has passed away at the age of 43, surrounded by her friends and family.
Zoleka Mandela’s death was announced in a statement shared on her official Instagram account on the evening of Monday, September 25, 2023.
According to CNN, Zoleka had documented her battle with cancer on her Instagram account before her passing. On August 23, 2023, she wrote: “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 okay when it’s not? I’m dying,” she proclaimed.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation also issued a statement on Tuesday, extending its heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family on the passing of Zoleka Mandela, tragically the night before. “We mourn the loss of a beloved grandchild of Mum Winnie and Madiba and a friend of the Foundation,” the statement added.
However, the foundation described her as “a tireless activist for healthcare and justice.” “Her work in raising awareness about cancer prevention and her unwavering commitment to breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease will continue to inspire us all,” it said.
Zoleka’s activism also includes road safety campaigns after her 13-year-old daughter, Zenani, was killed in a car crash in 2020.