- She was the granddaughter of South Africa’s first democratically elected President and anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela, and his second wife, Winnie
South African writer and activist, Zoleka Mandela, has died of cancer at the age of 43.
She was the granddaughter of South Africa’s first democratically elected President and anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela, and his second wife, Winnie.
The family spokesperson, Zwelabo Mandela, announced that she passed away on Monday evening surrounded by friends and family.
According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, her work was inspirational.
It said that she raised “awareness about cancer prevention” as well as “breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease”.
Ms Mandela, who had been sexually abused as a child, opened up about her struggles with depression.
She lost two of her children; a 13-year-old daughter who was killed in a car accident in 2010 and a son who was born prematurely. She is survived by four children.
Before her demise, Ms Mandela documented her story in her autobiography ‘When Hope Whispers’.
Diagnosed with breast cancer at age of 32, she received treatment and was in remission but the illness later returned.
Last year, she confirmed that she had cancer in her liver and lungs, it then spread to other organs.
Notable South Africans including; Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Nandi Madida, and Somizi have condoled with the Mandela family.