The granddaughter of South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela, Zoleka Mandela, has passed away after losing a prolonged battle with cancer.
A statement released by the Mandela’s family spokesperson, Zwelabo Mandela on Tuesday, said the 43-years-old Zoleka died in the early hours of Tuesday after being admitted to hospital on September 18 for an ongoing treatment for cancer of the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.
Zoleka, an accomplished author and activist, was the child of Mandela and his first wife, Winnie’s youngest daughter, Zindzi Mandela, and her first husband, Zwelibanzi Hlongwane.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation also confirmed the death of Zokela in a post on social media.
“We mourn the loss of a beloved grandchild of Mum Winnie and Madiba. Her work in raising awareness about cancer prevention and her unwavering commitment to breaking down the stigma surrounding the disease will continue to inspire us all.”
The statement added that Zokela had a very strong voice on social media and through her Instagram series, “Dear Diary, #TerminallyFree,” she gave vent to the cancer community, sharing the ups and downs of her journey with brutal honesty.
“She has used her platform to educate and raise awareness, inspiring all those who have suffered the cruelties of the disease,” it added.
Her grandfather is renowned for his fight for the liberation of South Africa from the clutches of apartheid.
His battles during the apartheid era saw him spending 27 years in prison and was released from the Victor Verster Prison in Cape Town on February 11, 1990, marking the end of apartheid in the country and making him the symbol of the country’s struggle.
He became President of a free South Africa from May 10, 1994, till June 14, 1999.
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