Mandela granddaughter dies


Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of ex-pres. Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, died on Monday evening. She was 43 years old.

Zoleka fought a long battle against cancer and was hospitalized a week before her death. At that stage she received treatment for metastatic cancer of the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.

Zoleka’s death comes a day before what would have been her grandmother Winnie’s 87th birthday.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has meanwhile expressed its condolences to the Mandela family.

“Zoleka was a tireless activist for healthcare and justice. Her work in raising awareness of cancer prevention and her unwavering commitment to breaking down the stigma surrounding this disease will continue to inspire us all.”

Zoleka has a memoir in 2013, When Hope Whisperspublished in which she talks candidly about her long-standing battle against, among other things, breast cancer.

Zoleka’s mother, Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson and Winnie and South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, died in July 2020 at the age of 59.

“Zoleka had a fighting spirit and a gentle soul like her mother and grandmother,” says Lerato Ngobeni, spokesperson for ActionSA. “South Africa’s youth is much richer because she lived, and like her ancestors she did not die, but only grew bigger.”