No official request for Mandela reburials

2013-06-28 07:26
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Mthatha - The Eastern Cape department of health has yet to receive a request for the exhumation and reburial of the remains of former president Nelson Mandela’s three children in Qunu.

“There is nothing official that has been made to the department,” its spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

He made the comments after it was reported that the remains of Mandela’s children - Makgatho, Makaziwe and Thembekile - would be exhumed in Mvezo and reburied in Qunu.

Family meeting

The remains of the trio were exhumed on instruction from Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, two years ago without the consent of the family.

The exhumation and reburials had been discussed at a family meeting that took place at Madiba’s homestead.

Kupelo said on Thursday the normal procedure to be followed when remains were to be exhumed and reburied was that a request be made to the department or a magistrate. Once the request was approved, a funeral parlour was authorised to exhume the remains in the presence of environmental officers dispatched by a local municipality, he said.

Late on Thursday, the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality could not say if a request had been made to the municipality to make environmental health officers available for the exhumation and burials.

Permission from chief

The chief of Qunu village, Nkosikazi Nokwanele Balizulu, confirmed that she had granted permission to the Mandela family to exhume the remains of Mandela’s son, Makgatho, to be reburied in Qunu.

Balizulu said Madiba’s daughter Makaziwe approached her on Tuesday to ask for permission to exhume the three bodies from Mvezo and to rebury them in Qunu.

Balizulu said she was called by Makaziwe, who asked her for permission to get two letters, one to exhume the remains from Mvezo and the other to rebury them in Qunu.

“I don’t know when this will happen, but they have made a request and I have agreed to it. I gave the letters to a funeral parlour they had appointed as per their instructions,” Balizulu said.

 

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