Family awaits Mandla in court

2013-07-08 00:00

MANDLA Mandela’s complaint against the legal team of his aunt, Makaziwe Mandela, is expected to be lodged today with the Eastern Cape Bar Council and the Cape Law Society.

Mandla is alleging that last week’s court order that allowed the exhumation of the remains of three family members was obtained by misleading the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha. At issue is a certificate of urgency filed with the court, which claimed Madiba was in a “vegetative state”.

It quoted Advocate David Smith as saying he had been advised by attorney Wesley Hayes that Man­dela’s condition had “taken a turn for the worst (sic) and that the Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support ­machines should be switched off”.

“Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Man­dela family is exploring this option as a very real probability,” according to the certificate of urgency.

Smith described Mandela’s health as perilous, and said he was in a permanent vegetative state, being assisted to breathe by a life support machine.

“Affidavits will be provided, at the hearing of this application, from his treating physicians that he is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine.

“The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds,’’ Smith said.

The Presidency has since denied claims that Mandela was in a vegetative state, while no affidavits were provided by Madiba’s physicians.

Yesterday, Hayes told The Witness that Mandla’s legal team was entitled to make a complaint to the bar.

“We will deal with them in due course,” Hayes said. He was quoted at the weekend as saying that the original certificate of urgency was “merely a submission outside of court’’.

“To the extent that there is speculation, a certificate of urgency was filed in terms of the practice of our court ... The certificate is not evidence, but merely submissions on why a matter should be heard outside ordinary court sittings.”

The claims in the certificate of urgency were not repeated in the founding affidavit deposed to by Makaziwe, or the confirmatory affidavits of 14 other relatives.

Meanwhile, Mandla’s spokesperson confirmed reports in the Weekend Witness that his legal team would still proceed with an application for a review of last week’s Mthatha high court order to exhume the remains.

“I am not sure when they will bring the application, but they will definitely be filing soon,” Freddy Pilusa said ­yesterday.

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