Zoleka Mandela, the granddaughter of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, the late Nelson Mandela, has tragically lost her battle with metastatic cancer at the age of 43.

She was hospitalized for treatment last Monday but, sadly, succumbed to the disease on the eve of her grandmother’s birthday, surrounded by loved ones and friends.

A family spokesperson shared the heartbreaking news of her passing on Monday evening via an Instagram post.

Zoleka had gained recognition in recent years for her courageous sharing of her cancer treatment journey and her candid discussions about her struggles with drug addiction, depression, and childhood sexual abuse. She chronicled her remarkable life story in her autobiography titled “When Hope Whispers.”

Over a decade ago, Zoleka faced a breast cancer diagnosis, successfully underwent treatment, and achieved remission. Tragically, the cancer resurfaced last year, affecting her liver and lungs before spreading to other organs. Despite facing blood clots and lung fibrosis, she remained hopeful and expressed gratitude for the ongoing treatment options just days before her passing.