Mandla’s week of woe on all fronts

2012-08-18 17:33

Mandla Mandela has had a terrible week.

Mandela, grandson and heir of former president Nelson Mandela, claimed this week the son he thought was his is actually his brother’s.

He issued a statement this week in which he claimed that his second wife, Anais Grimaud, and one of his brothers had been having an affair.

He did not identify which of his brothers was the alleged “other man”.

In his statement he said the affair had “shocked and hurt” him.

“We are in conversation with her family to find a viable solution to this matter as we are required to do in our culture. My brother’s ­involvement is a sensitive family matter that the Mandela family is working on,” Mandela said.

The infant is nearly a year old.

Mandela said a test had proved the child’s paternity.

As if his paternity woes were not bad enough, Mandela also had to field allegations of infertility and questions about his chieftainship.

His first wife, Tando Mabunu-Mandela, has turned to the courts to annul his latest marriage – to Nodiyala Mbali Makhathini.

In papers filed before the ­Mthatha High Court, Mabunu-Mandela claimed that Mandela was not really a Thembu chief.

She also accused him of being ­infertile.

In papers, Mabunu-Mandela claims her husband, who is chief of Mvezo near Mthatha, only ­became chief after his grandfather had respectfully declined an offer from the Thembu royal house Nelson Mandela, himself a Thembu, was “prompted” by his grandson to request that the chieftaincy be conferred on him, Mabunu-Mandela claims.

“In other words, the first ­respondent (Mandla) can never aver that his chieftainship is an ­hereditary title or one where he is regarded as heir apparent,” she ­argued in papers.

“The tribe has never regarded the first respondent has (sic) a true chief – he obtained the title as ­consolation.”

Pulling no punches, she also claimed he had “fertility issues” and could not produce an heir naturally.

This was in response to Mandela’s defence against her complaint of bigamy that as a Thembu chief he was obliged to take many wives to bear an heir in the community.

Mandela could not be reached for comment as he was in China judging the 2012 Miss World pageant, which was held yesterday.

His spokesperson, Freddy Pelusa, said Mandela would not comment.

At home in Mvezo, news of the alleged affair and the baby’s ­paternity had residents agog.

City Press has learned that Mandela did not consult the elders or his immediate family – they saw the press statement as it was about to be released.

After news of the scandal broke last week, villagers and Thembu royals near Qunu and Mvezo were given strict instructions not to speak to the media.

Some defied these orders, though they insisted on speaking anonymously and would not ­divulge much.

Villagers said Grimaud had often “partied” with Mandela’s brothers when they were in town.

A relative confirmed that Mandela and the brother he accused of impregnating Grimaud had once been involved in a ­physical fight.

“It’s not to say Mandla did not suspect anything. He did, but he wanted to catch them in the act, which he never did. If this week does not destroy him, nothing will. He was so proud when that baby was born. He really thought he had an heir,” said a confidante.

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