Mandla Mandela's Nkandla

2013-07-03 11:56
Mvezo (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

Mvezo (Schalk van Zuydam, AP)

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Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela has been accused of hijacking a community trust and personally benefiting from it.

Die Burger reported on Wednesday that the departments of tourism, rural development and health had spent at least R200m over the last three years to improve the infrastructure in and around Mvezo in the Transkei, where Mandla Mandela is the local chief.

The Mvezo Development Trust, of which Mandla is a trustee, will take over the running of a R43.2m cultural centre by the end of the year. The centre includes extensive accommodation, a restaurant, conference centre and restaurant, and bears a resemblance to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The cultural centre is currently closed to the public, and community members have apparently been told not to speak to the media.

The proceeds of the trust are meant to benefit poor people in the area.

A former trustee told Die Burger that Mandla had bullied the local community and made decisions on behalf of the trust without proper consultation, as well as using it for personal gain.

Freddy Pilusa, a spokesperson for Mandla Mandela, denied this, saying those who are complaining are merely seeking media attention, and that the community is satisfied with the trust. He added that the reason the development is currently closed is because construction work is still under way.

Mandla Mandela is currently embroiled in a dispute with other members of the Mandela family over the exhumation of the remains of three of Nelson Mandela's children from Qunu and the reburial of those remains in Mvezo in 2011 without consulting the rest of the family.

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