Argument on reburial case continues

2013-07-02 00:00

THE court case over the reburial of the remains of former president Nelson Mandela’s children was postponed until today in the Mthatha high court.

One of the lawyers involved in the matter, Wiseman Sigadla, said that Mandla Mandela’s legal team were afforded an opportunity to argue their case before Judge Lusindiso Pakade at yesterday’s proceedings.

The case was adjourned about 5 pm, and is set to resume at 11 am today when Mandla’s legal team are expected to file supporting ­documents.

The case was heard in the judge’s chambers due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Neither Mandla nor his relatives were at court yesterday.

Mandela’s oldest daughter, Makaziwe, and grandchildren, Ndileka and Ndaba, landed at the Mthatha Airport just before midday after their flight was delayed owing to bad weather.

Yesterday’s proceedings were a sequel to an interim interdict granted by the Mthatha high court on Friday, preventing Mandla from interfering with the reburial of the dead Mandela children’s remains at Qunu.

Although Mandla initially said he would not oppose the order, he changed his mind at the weekend.

“After meeting with my client and the chiefs of the Madiba clan, a decision was taken to file a motion to oppose on the basis that the applicants do not have the right to remove the bones … and based on the fact that the remains are in the right place in Mvezo,” Mandla’s lawyer, advocate Matthew Mpahlwa, said earlier.

Mandla had had the remains taken from Qunu and buried at Mvezo, Madiba's birthplace, in 2011.

Meanwhile, the acting chairperson of one of the the AbaThembu royal families, Nkosi Thanduxolo Mtirara, said the Mandelas should have approached the three other royal houses to find a solution to the impasse, rather than go to court.

“We were shocked to hear about the court case in the media. They should have approached the other royal families of the AbaThembu to discuss the matter so that a ­solution could be found,” Mtirara told The ­Witness.

The AbaThembu Kingdom has four royal houses — Mtirara, Mnqanqeni, Joyi and ­Mandela.

According to Mtirara, the other royal houses were opposed to the court case and wished the matter to be resolved otherwise.

All the royal houses are to meet at Qunu on July 8 to try to resolve the matter.

“The world is praying for [Madiba] and yet the family are fighting among themselves,” ­Mtirara said.

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