Mandla absent from brief Mandela family reburial

2013-07-04 16:15

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The reburial of three of former president Nelson Mandela’s children was a brief and private family affair, attended only by close family members and friends. Mandla Mandela was noticeably absent.

The reburial, which took place in Qunu at the Eastern Cape farm of the former president, did not last more than 30 minutes.

AbaThembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was there to oversee the reburial. Also present were former Eastern Cape premier and DA member Nosimo Balindlela and Ngcobo mayor Lamla Jiyose.

Said Dalindyebo’s spokesperson, Pumla Matshaya: “The king is there to support the family and to make sure that there is smooth running of things in the reburial. He is there to oversee the process as the custodian of the AbaThembu culture and traditions.”

The reburial was for Madiba’s three children, Makgatho, Thembekile and Makaziwe, whose remains were dug up in Mvezo last night after a court order was granted against Mandla Mandela, who took the remains to Mvezo in 2011 without the consent of his family.

Makgatho Mandela was Mandla’s father.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela early today confirmed that the remains dug up in Mvezo were indeed those of Madiba’s children.

This followed DNA tests conducted at the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital this morning.

The ceremony to rebury the remains was preceded by an explosive press conference in Mvezo, held by Mandla Mandela, who lashed out at the 16 members of his family who took him to court over the remains.

Mandla accused the family of being hypocrites and questioned some members’ standing in the Mandela family.

He singled out his aunt, Makaziwe, and brother, Ndaba, for his harshest words while also disowning his younger brothers, Mbuso and Andile, claiming they were not his late father’s children.

Mandla’s supporters in Mvezo sang pro-Mandla songs while they called Ndaba a dog. During the press conference, Mandla said Ndaba was a product of infidelity.

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