Zoleka Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, has died.
Zoleka passed away on Monday evening after a long fight with cancer. She was 43 years old.
“The Nelson Mandela Foundation extends its heartfelt condolences to the Mandela family on the passing of Zoleka Mandela, tragically last night,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation wrote in a statement released on Tuesday morning.
“We mourn the loss of a beloved grandchild of Mum Winnie and Madiba and a friend of the Foundation.”
Zoleka died on September 18 after being taken to the hospital for continued treatment for cancer of the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain, and spinal cord.
Her family claimed in a statement that recent scans revealed severe illness progression, including lung fibrosis and numerous emboli (blood clots).
“On Monday, September 18th, Zoleka Mandela was admitted into hospital for ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer to the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord,” the statement shared on her Instagram page reads.
“Recent scans revealed significant disease progression including fibrosis in the lungs as well as several emboli.
“Zoleka passed away on the evening of Monday, September 25th, surrounded by friends and family. Our sincerest gratitude to the medical team that took care of her.”
Zoleka was born on April 9, 1983, to father MJ Seakamela and mother Zindzi Mandela.
She was 10 when Mandela was released from prison in 1990 — after 27 years in detention.
Mandela passed away in 2013 at the age of 95.
Zoleka was an outspoken activist for healthcare and justice throughout her life.