On Monday (September 25), Zoleka died “surrounded by friends and family” following recent struggles with cancer, according to a statement posted on her Instagram.
“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 read. “Recent scans revealed significant disease progression including fibrosis in the lungs as well as several emboli.”
Zoleka, the grandchild of Nelson Mandela and his second wife, Winnie Mandela, was a writer and activist for health care and social justice.
“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 said in a statement on Tuesday (September 26). “We mourn the loss of a beloved grandchild of Mum Winnie and Madiba and a friend of the Foundation.”
“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 foundation added.