Nelson Mandela settles in birthplace

2011-08-27 18:44

Former president Nelson ­Mandela has now settled in his Qunu homestead permanently, after he first left the Eastern Cape 70 years ago.

Mandela has not returned to his Johannesburg home in the affluent suburb of Houghton since July when he travelled to Qunu to celebrate his 93rd birthday in July.

So far, Madiba – as he is passionately known globally – has spent more than six weeks in Qunu.

This, according to an elderly resident villager, is the longest time Mandela has spent in the village since his release from prison in 1990.

At least three sources close to the Mandela family in Qunu told City Press that the elderly statesman had informed family members that he intended to be based in the village, which is outside Mthatha.

According to a community leader in one of the villages neighbouring Qunu, Mandela’s grandson and Mvezo chief Mandla Mandela believes his grandfather is too old to be regularly commuting between Johannesburg and Mthatha.

“He (Madiba) wants to be left alone to stay in Qunu,” said the community leader.

The other sources said word of Madiba’s intention to stay in Qunu was spreading throughout the area.

Chief Mandla Mandela, through his spokesperson ­Freddy Pilusa, said he would not comment about his grandfather’s movements as it ­involved security and referred enquiries to government.

Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi referred enquiries to Presidency. Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said he was not in a position to comment about Mandela’s move.

Sello Hatang of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said they do not discuss Madiba’s ­movements.

Following his admission to hospital in January for what was described as routine ­check-up, Mandela has been to Qunu at least twice.

In May, Mandela spent a week there when the family exhumed and reburied three of his children’s remains in his birthplace, Mvezo, not far from Qunu. He did not attend the reburial.

The children, from Mandela’s first marriage to Evelyn Mase, were his only sons, Thembekile and Makgatho, and their sister Makaziwe.

Mandela travelled in a military aircraft to Mthatha and has a team of SA Police Service protection unit members, SA Military Health Services health personnel and ­ambulances on stand-by.

In his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, Mandela writes that he and cousin ­Justice – the son of Mandela’s guardian Nkosi Jongintaba Dalindyebo – fled the village when the family organised brides which they were to ­marry in 1941.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.