Exhuming Mandela bodies illegal - lawyer

2013-07-03 17:27
(Michael Kimberley, via Twitter)

(Michael Kimberley, via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - It is illegal for the Mandela family to exhume the remains of three of former president Nelson Mandela's children, legal counsel for Mandla Mandela said on Wednesday.

He said there was no one at Mvezo village, in the Eastern Cape, where Mandla is chief, to show them where the remains were, and that the graves were not clearly marked.

Earlier in the day, Mandla lost a challenge against a court order instructing him to rebury the remains in Qunu.

Officials from the sheriff of the court's office broke open a gate to Mvezo village on Wednesday afternoon to gain access to the graves.

ENCA filmed an official using a pick-axe to force open the gate.

Three hearses and police vans entered the village.

They were to transport the remains of three of Mandela's children from Mvezo, where he was born, to Qunu, where he grew up.

Mandela has reportedly expressed the wish to be buried in Qunu, and not in Mvezo.

Mandla exhumed the graves of the three children two years ago and buried their remains in Mvezo.

Mandela remained critically ill on Wednesday in a Pretoria hospital where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

The SABC reported that his eldest surviving daughter Makaziwe Mandela and grandson Ndaba Mandela arrived at Mvezo with officials from the health department.

Sizwe Dhlomo tweeted: “From what I can tell, Mandla seems like the only one who was there all along for his grandfather & everyone else is just crawling out now.”

- SAPA

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  mandla mandela  |  east london  |  mandela graves saga
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