Mandela family want ‘deceptive’ Mandla to watch funeral from sidelines

2013-07-02 10:48

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Mandla Mandela allegedly lied to his entire family, telling them he’d reburied relatives’ remains in Qunu when he’d actually reinterred them in Mvezo.

This allegation is understood to form part of a court application by 16 members of the Mandela family, which Mandla is due to challenge in the Mthatha High Court today.

Mandla, former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson and his heir, was temporarily interdicted by the court late last week from blocking the removal and reburial of the remains by other members of his family.

On Sunday, he announced his intention to fight the court order.

At the centre of the battle are the remains of former president Mandela’s sons, Makgatho and Thembekile, and daughter, Makaziwe.

A source with intimate knowledge of the case told City Press the applicants – the 16 other Mandelas – were accusing Mandla of putting “bogus graves” at the family farm in Qunu.

“He only put up bogus graves there and put up tombstones and told the family, here are the graves, but was lying,” said the source, adding that this formed part of the family’s application in papers before the court.

“Mandla fooled everybody, even Madiba did not know the remains were buried in Mvezo,” the source said today, ahead of the court appearance.

Other sources connected to the family said the Mandelas were furious with Mandla and wanted to make sure he was entirely excluded from Madiba’s funeral when the elderly statesman dies.

Mandela (94) has been in hospital for four weeks, his condition described as “critical but stable” by the presidency in its latest statement about his health.

“It’s a power struggle. They want Mandla stripped of all the power he wields because he has clearly abused it. He has betrayed his family’s trust,” said a source.

This source explained that the family only discovered Mandla’s alleged trickery during a heated family meeting last week that set the court challenge in motion.

The contents of the court papers have not been disclosed, and the matter is being held in camera.

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