Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela, passed away on Monday following a battle with cancer, the author’s family announced. According to TimesLIVE, Zoleka, 43, was on September 18 admitted to a hospital to receive treatment for metastatic cancer in the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.
“Recent scans revealed significant disease progression including fibrosis in the lungs as well as several emboli,” the deceased author’s family said in the statement on her Instagram account. “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’s passing comes after she opened up about her cancer diagnosis last year. She also detailed her 10-year battle with the disease in her When Hope Whispers autobiography. In an Instagram post, Zoleka also revealed CAT scan had determined there was cancer in her liver and lungs.
“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 August, Zoleka also revealed she was not yet out of the woods. “From what she’s told me, cancer in the bones cannot be eradicated, nor can it be cured. I have bone metastasis,” she shared at the time.
“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.”