Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, the late Nelson Mandela, died at the age of 43 from complications from metastatic cancer.
She was admitted to the hospital for treatment last Monday but died on the eve of her grandmother’s birthday, surrounded by loved ones and friends.
A family representative confirmed her death on Monday evening in a poignant letter posted on Instagram.
Zoleka had acquired notoriety in recent years for courageously exposing her cancer treatment experience and honestly expressing her issues with drug addiction, depression, and childhood sexual assault. She told her incredible story in her memoirs, “When Hope Whispers.”
Zoleka was diagnosed with breast cancer more than a decade ago, underwent therapy, and went into remission. Unfortunately, her cancer resurfaced last year, damaging her liver and lungs before spreading to other organs. Even though she had blood clots and fibrosis in her lungs, she remained positive, expressing thanks for continued treatment choices just days before her death.