Digger arrives at Mandela gravesite

2013-06-26 08:20

Mthatha - Two hours after Mandela family members and government officials met at the family home in Qunu, a machine digger arrived at what is believed to be the planned grave site of Nelson Mandela.

Tuesday was a day of heightened activity after the world started preparing to take its leave of the 94-year-old, reported Beeld.

There was increased activity not only in Qunu but also at the Pretoria hospital where Madiba has been receiving treatment and at his former home in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.

On Tuesday, Mandela family representatives, local clan leaders and national government officials landed at Mthatha airport and met at the Mandela home for two hours before leaving again for Mthatha.

 Among them were Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who is said to be involved closely in the funeral arrangements.  

After the meeting, Madiba’s grandson, Ndaba Mandela, then went to inspect the gravesite. The digger arrived about two hours later and was delivered by a truck. It has been parked about 150m from the gravesite.

Chief Mfundo Mtirara, who is related to Madiba, and is the headman of the Matyenenqgina near Qunu, said the family meeting was about “very sensitive issues” and the contents of the discussions were only meant for family.

  • Langa Meyiwa - 2013-06-26 08:23

    so they started digging a grave already #confused

      Rosaleen Wilkinson - 2013-06-26 08:26

      No not yet, but it is on standby ... " It has been parked about 150m from the gravesite."

      Richard Smith - 2013-06-26 08:26

      Were does it say they have started digging anything?

      Duncan Mansfield - 2013-06-26 08:33

      I thought he was critical, not dead. Either they are jumping the gun or there is something fishy going on..

      Mc Apple - 2013-06-26 08:35

      The vultures are not even waiting till the old mans body is cold. Can you imagine what is going to happen when the will gets read? Glad I’m not part of that.

      Titus Madiba - 2013-06-26 08:37

      Xhosa's don't use machine diggers, the men of the village dig up the grave in the week leading to the funeral and its an integral ritual in the Xhosa culture. They are constructing the N2 road near Mandela's house my guess is that's why the digger is there

      Andrew Selous - 2013-06-26 08:52

      The goldiggers are there too.

      Patrick Buckley - 2013-06-26 09:00

      Could I donate a weed eater?

      Tim Green - 2013-06-26 09:37

      Reminds me of these Tow-trucks waiting for accidents to happen then they come in like vultures... even if they havent started digging, its still disrespectful to Mandela. We shouldnt prepare for the death of others, if it happens it happens and we can grieve afterwards.

      Tim Green - 2013-06-26 09:38

      Unless what Titus Madiba says is true...

      Lindokuhle Gwala - 2013-06-26 10:14

      Mina I d'nt undestand why thy diggng da grve yrd#comfused# is Mandela no longer with us?

      Soet Engeltjie - 2013-06-26 10:29

      Is dit nie bietjie gou nie? Die man is nog nie eers dood of koud nie. No dammit, who say he wont get better again?

      Alec Stafford - 2013-06-26 10:30

      My understanding is that it is a cultural thing. In other words, it's not necessarily they are waiting eagerly for him to pass away like vultures, it's just that the culture dictates that preparations need to be made if a person seems like they are on their way out. I suppose it is similar to taking out Funeral Plan in the western world. You aren't hoping the person will die soon, you are just aware that preparations are required.

      Soet Engeltjie - 2013-06-26 10:39

      I understand that Alec.....but it sounds so if you want the person to die sooner.

      Nkosinathi Ngilambile - 2013-06-26 10:52

      perhaps they are planning to move the existing graves to Mvezo?

      Kutlwuno Portia - 2013-06-26 11:02

      i,dnt understnd,abt ths things, the diggers arrives at mandela gravesite. oooh ppl ur,leader,our weapon.of south africa,

      Siranne van Onselen - 2013-06-26 11:58

      Nelson Mandela

      yaya188 - 2013-06-26 14:57

      @ Tutus Madiba, you are so right! In addition, they will not bury him in a normal grave. It will be more like a tomb, and he will have his 'tools and weapons with him' ?? This is what happened at Coffee Bay some years ago, when chief died. This chief had a bottle of brandy as well, to keep him warm. It was very moving and there were thousands of people there too. Cattle have to be slaughtered for the feast, and all manner of arrangements made. It is going to be a nightmare of very large proportions. Many years ago, it was estimated that the funeral would cost R60 million? Prolly more now. Services and memorials held all over the country.

      Luc Maene - 2013-06-26 15:37

      nothing is confuse madiba is dead already the ANC just waiting for his birth day to annouce his death.... so no need to cry but celebrate his life and keep his legacy of ubuntu to be with us forever

      Rajah Favoured Fadzai - 2013-06-26 16:47

      At the end of the day what is the point of them putting the crane by his grave site if the man is still alive and breathing?

      DeAndre Sosa - 2013-06-26 17:38

      Xhosa people do not use diggers and trucks, no matter how much of a celebrity you are the local men do the digging the grave. The digger is probably there for something else.

      Bobby Omar - 2013-06-26 19:38

      i am hearing that he is no longer with us and that it is being kept quiet

      Buzzbar - 2013-06-26 22:22

      Like everything in Africa, that graveyard has gone to the dogs...

      Hawkeye Pierce - 2013-06-27 00:49

      @Siranne. Yours is the BEST COMMENT on News 24 in a long time

  • Sibongile Mkhatshwa - 2013-06-26 08:29

    Maybe they are not ready to share any news with the public yet.

      Tammy Erasmus - 2013-06-26 08:36

      Think you right. I understand there is very heavy protocols to follow before they actually announce his death to the public. :(

      Wim Prins - 2013-06-26 12:32

      Exactly my thoughts ... and if it is Xhosa tradition it will be totally disrespectful to Mr Mandela's tradition ... I am sure there are many who will be honored to dig his last resting place ...

      Johannes Thupetji - 2013-06-26 18:44

      may be,cause how can u digg a grave while someone is still alive???confused

  • Michael Young - 2013-06-26 08:29

    I think that the government and family know alot more about Madiba's condition and diagnosis than what the public has been told. I personally believe that Madiba is on life support and the ANC and family want time to make necessary arrangements before the inevitable. What ever the case may be I just hope and pray that Mr Mandela passes on knowing that the nation is behind him and appreciate what he has done. He must know that what he has done for us has not been in vain and his legacy and dream will live on.

      Philo Pillowcase Simelane - 2013-06-26 09:33

      Thank you so much for those words. If only u can share them with the rest of the world.

      Guy Alain - 2013-06-26 09:34

      this is construction talk, i appreciate it.

      Kawasaki1985 - 2013-06-26 09:37

      @ Miyo - Well said.

      Bheki Dladla - 2013-06-26 15:46

      I so wish the fools who dislike the above comments could be brave and rather state why they have done so. but let me guess fools will always be fool bunch of cowards!!! go ahead and dislike mine too...

      Wim - 2013-06-26 20:36

      I am with you Bheki ... faceless cowards or 6 year old kids ...

  • Ajarn Fleur - 2013-06-26 08:29

    They have not broken the ground yet. Read the story.

  • Mxolisi Victor Xuma - 2013-06-26 08:30

    Is he stil alive? tell us the truth,

  • Ann Mathews - 2013-06-26 08:31

    When have you ever heard of a digger arriving at a grave site before someone is dead? What the heck? Can you really presume someone dead before they are?

      Jeanne Bothma - 2013-06-26 09:22

      Ann I agree.. I would hate to know that my grave is ready before I've actually died..

      Johan_Swart - 2013-06-26 12:30

      it should be obvious to anyone with a little common sense that he is clinically dead , they are now only arguing about when to switch the machines off

      S'boy Monokoa - 2013-06-27 00:48

      I fully agree Ann, but maybe it just the fear on how the conditon of the old man is.

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2013-06-27 14:56

      @ Ann - So the undertaker is wrong be making and selling caskets before people die??

  • mapepaki - 2013-06-26 08:32

    So, is Mr Mandela dead, and the news kept from us until all heads of state have been informed? because it seems very strange that the grave diggers (yugh) are waiting to dig.

      Brendon Mashaba - 2013-06-26 16:20

      I thnk Zuma must talk nw

  • Busi Ndaba - 2013-06-26 08:33

    Now we know although not told that Madiba is on life support, they are ready to let him go peacefully...

      Mfanelo Ritilili - 2013-06-26 11:16

      Ha! indeed we do not know but it is clear that the old statesman is on life support. i cant imagine life in SA without him and am not ready to bid farewell to him. How i wish that he recovers!

  • David Campbell - 2013-06-26 08:36

    May God Bless him

      Sebothe Emmanuel - 2013-06-26 08:59

      god bless tata i dnt khw wat happen with our southafrica s god i giveup rust in peace tata mandela

      Siranne van Onselen - 2013-06-26 11:59

      Nelson Mandela

  • Peter Tau - 2013-06-26 08:37

    i think Madiba is already gone they just waitin for july month,so that they can declare it mandela can an old man remain critical for so long,there is something they are not tellin us.

      Bheki Nas - 2013-06-26 09:40

      The public need to know...the Truth...

      Luzuko Mrwebo - 2013-06-26 09:51

      They are waiting for Obama

      Irma Morton - 2013-06-26 11:35

      I agree, its Madiba's birthday on the 18th July, who knows, he could be buried on that day... Just a thought.

  • Michelle Shizzey - 2013-06-26 08:37

    I find it a bit creepy that they are already digging a grave for him... smh

      Junior Mahlo - 2013-06-26 09:07

      If I may ask madam, where did they write that they are digging a grave for him? did you even read the article before commenting.... that's CREEPY hey

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2013-06-27 14:58

      I also think its creepy to build a mortuary before people die..

  • Lwando-Lwazi Maya Yanto - 2013-06-26 08:38

    Hay seyindulukile lengwevu.

  • Teddy Poteho - 2013-06-26 08:38

    i think he is on a life suport machine thats y thy already started wit the funineral arrengments.but digging macine arriving b4 the dead tjo(confused)

  • Kayla-Marie Kirstie Du Plooy - 2013-06-26 08:41

    Do these people have any heart? never mind the grandson who is fighting at a time like this. gosh theres a hearse at his house! the diggers are there! oh Lord Cant Madiba go in peace!

  • Cecil Luwaca - 2013-06-26 08:41

    Is he still alive?

      Andrew Shongwe - 2013-06-26 08:53

      He's long gone. They dnt want to reveal it to the nation. RIP Madiba

  • Oliver Gawe - 2013-06-26 08:43

    This whole story is confusing on Mandela.Why discuss and make plans on burial of the great man when his still alive?Can you just inform us on his condition and stop talking in riddles :/

  • K B Magida Fata - 2013-06-26 08:44

    *****deep Sigh****!!!!

  • Thabo Kenneth Motaung - 2013-06-26 08:44

    how on earth dig a grave for the person alive, in our culture

  • Kevin Swazi - 2013-06-26 08:45

    Just like the ruling party. Couldnt organise a funeral in a cemetary....circus of note!

  • Israel - 2013-06-26 08:46

    The site of Mandela's gravesite is in an apalling condition

  • Makhosie Ngwane - 2013-06-26 08:46

    I hope Mandela rcovers shut hs families hopes dwn,hw cn they bury the man alive,I bet hs family cnt wait to fyt over the inheritance dats wy they doin dis..Hw disrespctful of them

  • Duma Lwandle - 2013-06-26 08:47

    A grave digger for what ? Oh nimncwaba ephila manje ? Yo.

  • John Badenhorst - 2013-06-26 08:49

    I find it extremely strange....first Mac Maharaj lets his tongue slip on Monday regarding funeral arrangements, then all the ones coming and going to his bedside(taking leave of him perhaps) and now, family meetings etc. we have heard of people that have been critical and made it and yet, although the government would have us believe that his condition has not changed, I personally thin they are telling huge lies!!! my guess is that our Mandiba is on life support and the family meeting was to decide when to turn it off and let him go. I happened to meet the man twice in the last 15 years and those meetings will forever be cherished. He was and will forever remain a true icon for human rights. To the family though, let him go in peace....

  • Gift NativeDeep Dintwe - 2013-06-26 08:50

    all we want is the truth here......

  • Andrew Shongwe - 2013-06-26 08:51

    This confirms it, Mandela is no longer with us. Rest in Peace Madiba. You've done us a lot. Hamba kahle qawe, Hamba kahle Mkhonto we zizwe

  • John Badenhorst - 2013-06-26 08:53

    Officially there has been no report that he has passed on and yet the Hyena's are already squabbling...So sad and most definitely not the image im sure Mandiba would have enjoyed seeing. I think he is on life support and once again, government is LYING to the public.

  • Hemlock - 2013-06-26 08:57

    For goodness sake, the man is not dead yet. How insensitive!

  • Khumbu Sogodi Khanyile - 2013-06-26 08:57

    they are digging the grave before they inform the public,that is my suggestion

  • Donnette Fry - 2013-06-26 08:57

    And we will mourn, and we will treasure the legacy and remember all he has done in the last 19 years for South Africa.... and we will pray for the family and we will pray for South Africa! i think i posted 29 years to my FB page... duh! I spent 3 hours last night reading Mandela Quotes... A wise VERY wise man....

      Helen Riding - 2013-06-26 17:42

      We have a lot more than 19 years to be grateful for, he has been fighting for freedom since the 1930s!

  • Johnny Storm - 2013-06-26 08:57

    They are just not telling the truth

  • Frederick Tafadzwa - 2013-06-26 09:00

    So he is probably dead already. The SA government is creating another scandal again.

  • Hastings Mlauzi Nkhoma - 2013-06-26 09:01

    I think its tym to let go the old man..

  • Noel Skhona Nkomo - 2013-06-26 09:01

    No need for explanation its clear

  • Snort T-Emm - 2013-06-26 09:03

    Ag no News24. This is not news. The vultures are circling.

      Soet Engeltjie - 2013-06-26 11:00

      And the Vultures are planning what cars and mansions they should buy with their inheritance. Bad, bad, bad!

      Louise Cook - 2013-06-26 23:50

      Yes, the media vultures!

  • Treasure Thabede - 2013-06-26 09:07

    so the funeral arangements are about to be completed before his death?

      Fanie Mthethwa - 2013-06-27 15:07

      With proper planning, you can actually finish constructing your house before you occupy it.

  • Mahomed Saleem Khan - 2013-06-26 09:08

    How can a grave be dug and kept ready for someone who is still alive. Perhaps they are not informing the public and the world of his condition. At first no visitors were allowed and all of a sudden ministers etc are allowed to pay a visit - is it something we don't know. No grave was dug for Shabir Sheik but he was dying 2 years ago and is still alive. May Madiba recover.

      Arshad Pahad - 2013-06-26 15:52

      That's because the milk shake cheated death just like he cheated everyone else! Sorry I couldn't resist!

  • Elmarie Viljoen Neff - 2013-06-26 09:09

    Im confused, is he dead? Because, if he is still alive and they start preparing to dig his grave, then that in itself is quite horrible and disrespectful. Also, is that the state of the cemetary? All grown over? Sies man, have some respect for the dead and make it look nice again!

      Debbie Carew - 2013-06-26 14:14

      They have no respect at all.

      Hennie Van Der Berg - 2013-06-26 19:22

      Can you imagine the rest on the world's elite travel on a gravel road ? as always it's afrika time !! come on !!! to get it all in place will take 2 years maybe if the ANC runs the show !

  • master.kay.7355 - 2013-06-26 09:09

    Good Luck Tata Madiba

  • Rianette Kemp - 2013-06-26 09:11

    Are they going to hold off on the news till after Obama's visit? Too scared he doesn't want to come because of the media frenzy....

  • Jones Phu-t Lekgoara - 2013-06-26 09:13

    Makaziwe said her father was at peace yesterday implying that he's gone.

  • master.kay.7355 - 2013-06-26 09:13

    << surely <<

  • Mluleki Simelane - 2013-06-26 09:14

    They don't have to tell us anything, he can die now and be buried by the end of the day. He is their father lets jus respect their privacy. They are going thru a difficult time and this media scrutiny is not fair. If they want to tell us something they will do it in their own time

  • Alfred Baloyi - 2013-06-26 09:17

    Screw this, i mean WTF, this is very selfish for a Man who shared a whole lot with the world, i understand its family issues but why dig a grave for someone who isnt dead yet.!!!!

  • Zakes Seema - 2013-06-26 09:22

    There's no smoke without fire. Come on Mac update us as usually!

  • Gregory Pillay - 2013-06-26 09:23

    That's so insensitive. The whole world are holding their breath hoping for the best for madiba yet the family can't wait. Even if he is on life support. Wait. Won't take weeks to dig up a grave. Preparing his burial before he leaves us. Disgusting.

  • Lumka Babylums Happy Madlamini - 2013-06-26 09:23

    Digging a grave while Tata is still alive?is he alive?#confuse#bt den I ges hs daughter dd say Tata is at peace

  • Arthur Salvado - 2013-06-26 09:27

    Rumour has it that perhaps put dear Madiba is already gone. Not my saying but the Rumours is out there :(

  • Lindy Jeffery - 2013-06-26 09:27

    Yes, it is all so sickening!!

  • Clint Mawing - 2013-06-26 09:30

    If you have seen Mr Sisulu's grave site you would know that that this is going to be a landmark. Proper planning is therefore required. What is wrong with you people. The family is just planning the necessary. The world has not seen a funeral of this magnitude yet, and yes it is probably going to be upon us soon.

      Feik Mc Heither - 2013-06-26 09:42


      Natalie Beech - 2013-06-26 09:56

      I understand where you are coming from, but an honest announcement needs to be made. Children are putting pictures, posters, flowers and gifts up at the hospital, with messages wishing him to get better, so the truth needs to come out, so that people can start mourning, they can still plan a funeral during that time.

  • Brian Barra - 2013-06-26 09:34

    We are now confused how can they dig a grave when he is still alive?or since there is a Media blackout he is gone already and they are keeping it a secret?the Nation is in dark bt I don't know why they are doing this because Madiba is the Father of the Nation and the Nation must know what's going on with his healthy on daily basis.

      Clint Mawing - 2013-06-26 09:42

      Brian the nation will know soon. Leave the family to do what they see necessary. It is their father, husband and grandfather.