Low-key reburial held at Qunu

2013-07-05 00:00

THE remains of the children of former president Nelson Mandela were buried at his Qunu homestead yesterday, after days of court battles between family members.

The reburial was a low-key private affair that lasted less than 30 minutes and was attended by close family members and friends. Grandson Mandla Mandela, who had moved the remains to his home at Mvezo, was absent.

Apart from Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe and grandchildren Ndaba and Ndileka, the AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was there to oversee the reburial.

Also present were former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela, now a DA member, and Ngcobo mayor Lamla Jiyose.

Dalindyebo’s spokesperson Pumla Matshaya said the king was there to support the family and to make sure that the reburial went smoothly, as the “custodian of the AbaThembu culture and traditions”.

In the morning, DNA tests conducted by the Eastern Cape Health Department at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital confirmed the remains were those of Mandela’s descendants.

“The bodies have been positively identified,” department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

The remains of Thembekile, Makgatho and the infant Makaziwe were exhumed after the Mthatha high court granted an order in favour of 15 members of the Mandela family.

Soon after the tests, a convoy of funeral vehicles left the hospital and headed for the premises of Titi Funerals just before 1 pm.

The remains were dressed, as part of custom, in the deceased’s clothes and also wrapped in a blanket.

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