Mandla accused of grave tampering

2013-07-02 17:44
Mandla Mandela (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

Mandla Mandela (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Criminal charges have been laid against Mandla Mandela over the exhumation and reburial of former president Nelson Mandela's three children, Eastern Cape police said on Tuesday.

"Yes, I confirm a case of tampering with a grave was opened at Bityi police station on 2 July," police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela said.

Fatyela declined to reveal who laid the charge.

"A case is opened at the police station and we will now investigate that case."

The criminal charges came as a civil case played itself out in the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha.

Nelson Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe and 16 other Mandela family members were last week granted an order compelling Mandla to return to Qunu the remains of Madiba's three children.

They were Mandla's father Makgatho Mandela, who died in 2005; Mandela's first daughter Makaziwe, who died as an infant in 1948; and Mandela's second son Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969.

The Mandela relatives claim Mandla had not sought permission or even informed family members he had moved the graves.

The court case came amid heightened media attention on Qunu - following Nelson Mandela's 25th day in a Pretoria hospital for treatment of a recurring lung infection. He remained in a critical condition.

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