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Zoleka Mandela’s Baby Daddy Respected Her Dying Wish By Not Attending Funeral

The father of late Zoleka Mandela’s last-born child, Andile Leeroy Cana, has spoken out after the author and activist died saying he had to respect her dying wish barring him from attending her funeral.

Cana told Zimoja that he mourned the When Hope Whispers author’s death from home as he did not want to go against her wishes.

ALSO READ: Drama at Zoleka Mandela’s funeral as family fight over body


Zoleka, the granddaughter of late South African former president Nelson Mandela and ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela Mandela, lost her battle with cancer on Monday, 25 September.

The mother-of-six – who shares a one-year-old daughter, Zingce Zobuhle Mandela with Cana – also barred her aunt, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, her cousin Mandla Mandela and King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.

Cana says he grieved Zoleka’s loss from home.

“I mourned her in the privacy of my home.

“I know things were not perfect between us before her passing, but she had allowed me to see our child and we were trying to mend things,” he said.

ALSO READ: Painful to watch: Zoleka Mandela’s last video before she died

Cana says he doesn’t believe she hated him.

“But I still think she was hurt when we separated. I was hoping to mend things, but I guess God had other plans and took her away.”

He further said that the criticism from people on social media, who did not know anything about his relationship with the mother of his daughter, has been painful to bear.

“The criticism has been incredibly hurtful, and I have had to stay away from social media to be able to deal with things accordingly and in a way that best suits my child and my family,” he said.

ALSO READ: Zoleka Mandela’s Diary Lists People She Doesn’t Want At Her Funeral


What was supposed to be a dignified and peaceful send-off on Friday, 29 September, was filled with drama as Zoleka’s body had to be exhumed from where she was meant to be buried at the Mandela Estate at Fourways Memorial Park in Johannesburg.

ALSO READ:  Zoleka Mandela died on the same day that Winnie Mandela was born

Sunday World reported that Zoleka’s aunt, Zenani, obtained a court order instructing the family to bury the deceased at a grave plot purchased by her ex-husband, Thierry Bashala.

Bhasha, who shares two children with Zoleka, was also on the list of barred persons. Family member, Ndileka Mandela confirmed the authenticity of the list to The Citizen.

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