Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter Zoleka dies aged 43 after battling cancer

Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s granddaughter, Zoleka Mandela has lost her fight with cancer, months after crying, “I don’t want to die”.

Zoleka who was an author sadly passed away at the age of 43 after her long battle with the ailment. In 2022, she revealed her struggle with the disease in her liver and lungs.

Her family confirmed her passing in a statement posted on her Instagram account on Tuesday, September 26.

The statement read, ‘Recent scans revealed significant disease progression including fibrosis in the lungs as well as several emboli.’

‘Zoleka passed away on the evening of Monday surrounded by friends and family. Our sincerest gratitude to the medical team that took care of her.’

Zoleka was admitted to the hospital on 18 September, where she received ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer affecting various parts of her body, including her hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.

A day before being hospitalised, Zoleka posted an update on Instagram with the caption, ‘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 had been feeling. My Medical Oncologist has recommended blood thinners and Oral Chemo.’

Zoleka, renowned for her book When Hope Whispers, which chronicled her decade-long journey with breast cancer, shared the news of her medical condition after her oncologist conducted a CAT scan.

‘The CAT scan has revealed cancer both in my liver and lungs. I am yet to receive feedback regarding my bone scan, to establish whether I have cancer beyond my ribs. I am hanging on by a thread. Thanking you all for your outpouring of love, prayer and support. Peace. Passion. Positivity,’ she shared in a post.

In early August, Zoleka revealed that her fight against the illness was far from over.

She shared, ‘From what she’s told me, cancer in the bones cannot be eradicated, nor can it be cured. I have bone metastasis.

‘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 OK when it’s not? I’m dying … I don’t want to die.’