Zoleka’s passing on eve of Winnie Mandela’s birthday

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Activist and author Zoleka Mandela passed away on the eve of her late grandmother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s 87th birthday.

The Mandela family has confirmed that the granddaughter of Madikizela-Mandela and former president, Nelson Mandela, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer at the age of 43.

In August 2022, Zoleka announced that her cancer had returned. A month later, the author and activist began treatment for the cancer in her lungs, liver, ribs, spinal cord and hips.

Madikizela-Mandela’s birthday also coincides with the ceremony to rename William Nicol Drive after her.

The Johannesburg Metro police Department Spokesperson, Xolani Fihla, has advised members of the public on expected road closures.

“There will be a reduction in the southbound through lanes on William Nicol Drive through the intersection, closure of the left-turn slip lane as well as through lane from Sandton Drive before the William Nicol Drive intersection. Motorists should make use of the right-turn lanes to execute left turn and through movements. Closure of one of the exclusive right-turn lanes northbound on William Nicol drive just before the Sandton Drive intersection, and a reduction in the left-turn lane northbound on William Nicol drive just before the Sandton Drive intersection.”

VIDEO | Remebering Zoleka Mandela: 


Tributes are still pouring in following the news of Zoleka’s death, with many describing her as a person who used a difficult cancer experience to help others.

In a statement, the Nelson Mandela Foundation described her as a “tireless activist for healthcare and justice. 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.”

Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, says “she fought very hard and made a huge difference in people’s lives.”