Author Zoleka Mandela’s wish of being buried next to her two children, mother, and grandmother was reportedly not fulfilled following alleged family drama on Friday, 29 September.
According to Zimoja, the When Hope Whispers writer – who had planned her funeral while she battled cancer – was laid to rest on a grave plot that her ex-husband, Thierry Bashala, purchased.
Court Order and Family Dispute
The publication reports that drama ensued when Zoleka’s aunt, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, arrived with police and a court order demanding that the author be buried elsewhere. It was initially reported that she would be buried at the Mandela Estate at Fourways Memorial Park next to her family.
“There are legal documents that have divided the family. They were forced to move the body from the estate to where the ex-husband had bought the grave. These were orders made by her very own aunt, Zenani,” a source told the publication.
Another source told Sunday World that a grave had already been dug for her, but her ex-husband refused for the Mandela family to bury her there.
Zenani and Thierry Bashala ‘On The List’
Zimoja had also previously published a list of people Zoleka had allegedly not wanted to attend her funeral. Both Zenani and her ex-husband are featured on the list.
Others included Mandla Mandela, Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, and Mike Seakamela, whom she reportedly claimed had sexually abused her. Mandla attended the funeral and memorial service.
Zoleka Mandela’s Brave Battle Against Cancer
In a statement on Tuesday, the Mandela family revealed that last week Zoleka was admitted into the hospital for ongoing treatment for metastatic cancer to the hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain, and spinal cord.
The author was diagnosed with and beat breast cancer twice. Her first diagnosis was in 2012.
The family said that recent scans revealed significant disease progression, including lung fibrosis and several emboli.
“Zoleka passed away on the evening of Monday, September 25th, surrounded by friends and family. Our sincerest gratitude to the medical team that took care of her,” read the statement.
Zoleka Mandela’s Legacy
Zoleka – who is the granddaughter of late South African former president Nelson Mandela and ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela – leaves behind four children; her only son Zwelami (born in 2003), her daughters Zanyiwe (born in 2014), Zenzile (born in 2019), and Zingce Zobuhle Mandela (born in 2022).