Mandela wanted a Qunu burial

2013-06-28 08:45
Nelson Mandela's home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. (File, AFP)

Nelson Mandela's home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. (File, AFP)

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2013-06-28 08:57

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Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela made it clear nearly 20 years ago that he wanted to be buried in Qunu, and he wanted to keep things simple.

In January 1996, Mandela gave three broad instructions with regard to his burial, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday.

He did not want any interference with a state memorial service and various associated ceremonies; he wanted to be buried in his ancestral home of Qunu; and he wanted a grave marker of simple stone on the site of his grave.

Mandela wanted to keep things simple even though he knew his funeral would inevitably be a state affair.


The Daily Sun reported on Friday that Mandela chose a position near his Qunu house for his gravesite, and a "simple structure" was constructed in 2008.

"Madiba used to walk to the site to inspect the progress," a Qunu resident told the newspaper.

"Those who built it were told to keep quiet about it. There are no graves around the site Madiba chose."

It was reported on Wednesday that Madiba’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, stormed out of a family meeting in Qunu after a disagreement over where his grandfather would be buried.

Three sources told The Star newspaper that the family was torn between Mandla - who wants Mandela buried at his birthplace in Mvezo - and the rest, who felt that his wish to be buried next to his children should be respected.

It has been reported that Mandla had reburied the bodies of Madiba’s three children in Mvezo without the family’s consent.

The chief of Qunu village, Nkosikazi Nokwanele Balizulu, confirmed that she has granted permission to the Mandela family to exhume the remains of the former president’s children, Makgatho, Thembekile and Makaziwe, to be reburied in Qunu.

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

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