Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has described Zoleka Mandela as a brave and outspoken advocate for cancer awareness.
Dube-Ncube was paying tribute to Mandela who died on Monday evening after succumbing to cancer. The premier expressed her condolences to the Mandela family.
Zoleka, 43, was the granddaughter of Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. She died the day before her grandmother’s birthday, which coincided with the renaming of William Nicol Drive to Winnie Mandela Drive in Sandton on Tuesday.
Dube-Ncube said Zoleka was a brave and outspoken advocate for cancer awareness. Her story and her fight against cancer inspired many people to seek help and to support those affected by cancer, and her legacy will live on in the work that continues to be done to raise awareness of cancer.
“Zoleka Mandela was a fighter: at a young age she fought abuse and later in life she fought cancer, and in her battle with cancer she became an inspiration to many people. Zoleka was a loving mother to her children, and she will be deeply missed by all who knew her,” Dube-Ncube said.
“On behalf of the people of KwaZulu-Natal, I extend my sincere condolences to the Mandela family on the passing of their beloved daughter and granddaughter, Zoleka.
“Zoleka was a true inspiration to us all, and her legacy will live on in the work that continues to be done to improve the lives of cancer patients in South Africa,” Dube-Ncube said.
Ncube urged people who are battling cancer to seek help at an early stage so it is diagnosed and attended to.
She said there are many resources available to help people get the support they need and there is no shame in asking for help.
“If you are struggling with cancer, please know that you are not alone,” Dube-Ncube said. “There are many people who care about you and want to help. Please reach out to a trusted friend or family member, or contact health professionals.”
IOL reported that in a brief statement on Tuesday, family spokesperson Zwelabo Mandela said Zoleka Mandela was admitted to hospital for ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer of the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain and spinal cord.
“Zoleka passed away on the evening of Monday, September 25, surrounded by friends and family. Our sincerest gratitude to the medical team that took care of her.”
Zwelabo added that recent scans revealed significant disease progression, including fibrosis in the lungs.
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