Four South African celebrities who lost battle of cancer in 2023

Four SA celebrities who lost their battle with cancer in 2023

We take a look at four celebrities who lost their lives due to cancer this year.

Zoleka Mandela pic in black and white
Zoleka Mandela pic in black and white/ Instagram

Cancer continues to kill millions of people around the world. 

Every sixth death in the world is due to cancer, states Our World In Data

This year, South Africa lost several celebrities to cancer. 

Zoleka Mandela 

The country is in mourning after it was announced that the granddaughter of Winnie and Nelson Mandela, Zoleka Mandela, has died due to cancer on Monday, 25 September. 

A statement was released on Instagram on Tuesday, 26 September, detailing how the author died surrounded by her friends and loved ones.

On 17 September, she wrote on Instagram that she had blood clots and fibrosis in her lungs. 

"I had a CT Scan administered a few weeks back, which have shown that I have blood clots as well as Fibrosis in my lung. This explains the chest pains I had been feeling. My Medical Oncologist has recommended blood thinners and Oral Chemo. On the upside, I’m incredibly grateful that I am still treatable! I’m off to bed … Good night … Good morning, beloved hearts!," she wrote on IG. 

READ: Zoleka Mandela passes away

Last year, Zoleka revealed that she has Bone Metastais. 

"[I] recently consulted with my GP when I could no longer tolerate the excruciating pain in my left rib. I went for an x-ray of my chest and rib a few days ago - I have a pathological fracture and swelling caused by cancer. My medical oncologist has scheduled me for a CT scan and bone scan, to determine whether I have cancer in the remaining parts of my body," she wrote on Instagram. 

READ: Tribute: "I always found Zoleka Mandela to be so interesting..."

"From what she’s told me, cancer in the bones cannot be eradicated nor can it be cured. I have Bone Metastasis. I’ve just had my CT scan and awaiting my results, I don’t even have the words to articulate my thoughts and feelings, the words to describe how scared I am right now. What do I tell my children? How do I tell them that this time around, I may not get to live my life as a survivor? How do I tell them everything will be okay when it’s not? I’m dying, I don’t want to die," she concluded her emotional post.

Angie Oeh

Afrikaans musician Angie Oeh revealed in August that she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. 

She asked for financial assistance with her medical expenses and revealed that she will need at least R200,000. 

A few days after asking for financial assistance, the 24-year-old died on 20 August in a hospital in Pretoria.

READ: Lower your chances of suffering from cancer

Derek Watts

South African journalist and TV presenter, Derek Watts, died on 22 August after battling cancer. 

Watts was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2022 and later revealed that it had spread to his lungs.

He worked for Carte Blanche on M-Net for 35 years from 1988 until 2023.

LISTEN: Early childhood cancer detection crucial - KZN oncologist

Mark Pilgrim

Media personality Mark Pilgrim died on 5 March.

He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March 2022. The cancer spread to his femur, the base of his spine, and lymph nodes.

LISTEN: DKS pay tribute to SA radio legend Mark Pilgrim

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