‘Family divided over Mandela’s final resting place’

Visitors from the Nelson Mandela museum with children from the Eastern and Western Cape sing get well soon wishes to former South African president Nelson Mandela outside his home in Qunu, South Africa on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Schalk van Zuydam

The family of Nelson Mandela is deeply divided over the South African democracy icon’s final resting place with one of his grandsons storming out of a family meeting, according to a report on Wednesday.

The family was torn between Mandla Mandela — who wants Mr. Nelson Mandela buried at his birthplace in Mvezo — and the rest, who felt that his wish to be buried next to his children should be respected, The Star newspaper reported quoting its sources.

The meeting held on Tuesday at Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where the revered statesman spent his childhood, to discuss a significant family matter — was attended by family, United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa and Minister of Public Service and Administration Lindiwe Sisulu.

Also in attendance were chief Bhovulengwe of the abaThembu royal council, Mr. Nelson Mandela’s daughters Makaziwe and Zenani, and Mr. Mandla Mandela and another grandson Ndaba Mandela.

The Star said it had reliably learnt that Mr. Mandla Mandela had exhumed the bodies of three of Mr. Nelson Mandela’s children by Evelyn, his first wife, and reburied them in Mvezo.

The chieftain had moved his father Makgatho; his aunt Makaziwe, who died in 1948 at only nine months; and uncle Thembekile, who was killed in a car accident in 1969, to his Mvezo traditional authority, where they were reburied.

Makgatho died of an Aids-related illness in 2005.

“This is making it impossible for Mandela to be buried next to his children because they are buried in Mvezo. Mandela is going to be buried in Qunu. Mandla did this without consulting the elders,” a source said.

It is understood that a defiant Mr. Mandla Mandela stormed out of the meeting, which also discussed Mr. Nelson Mandela’s health, before it was finished because the family were insistent that the Mandela children be taken back to their original burial ground.

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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 6:43:24 PM |

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