Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, passed away at the age of 43, leaving behind a legacy of activism and a commitment to healthcare and justice causes.
In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the Nelson Mandela Foundation expressed its deep condolences to the Mandela family for the tragic loss of Zoleka Mandela. She was a cherished grandchild of Winnie and Madiba, as well as a close friend of the Foundation.
Born on April 9, 1980, Zoleka Mandela was known for her outspoken advocacy work and her dedication to raising awareness about healthcare issues. She was born to parents MJ Seakamela and Zindzi Mandela, and she was the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and his second wife, Winnie Mandela.
Zoleka Mandela’s tireless efforts to promote cancer prevention and to break down the stigma surrounding the disease earned her admiration and respect. The Nelson Mandela Foundation acknowledged her significant contributions, stating that her work would continue to inspire people.
A statement posted on Zoleka Mandela’s Instagram account shed light on her recent health struggles. On September 18th, she was admitted to the hospital for ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer affecting her hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain, and spinal cord. Recent scans had shown the disease progressing, including fibrosis in her lungs and several emboli.
Tragically, Zoleka Mandela passed away on the evening of September 25th, surrounded by loved ones. The statement conveyed the family’s heartfelt appreciation for the medical team’s care during her illness.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation expressed its sympathy, stating, “Our thoughts are with her family and friends during this incredibly difficult time. Hamba kahle Zoleka, we will remember you.”