Mandla Mandela takes a swipe at his rape-accused brother at school opening

2015-08-25 18:05
Mandla Mandela

Mandla Mandela

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Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla has expressed sorrow over the use of alcohol, drugs and substance abuse among young people, in what could be seen as a veiled reference to his younger brother, who is accused of raping an underaged girl.

Mandla, who is the chief of Mvezo, was speaking at the official opening of the Makgatho Lewanika Mandela Primary School in Mvezo, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, today.

The school was opened by President Jacob Zuma – who was accompanied by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Education MEC Mandla Makupula and Premier Phumulo Masualle – in front of thousands of people.

The school is named after Makgatho Lewanika Mandela, the second son of the former president.

“It’s painful that my father is no longer with us as we celebrate him today. On the day of my father’s funeral, I remember saying these words to the youth – which I wish to echo today – that young people must stay away from drugs, alcohol and substance abuse. Many of our families have been destroyed by this problem.

“As the Mandela family we have also not been left unaffected. Our family too is affected and destroyed by this problem of alcohol, drugs and substance abuse. Young people must always remember these words,” Mandla said, as his younger brother, whom he did not mention by name, was fighting for bail in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court.

He was granted bail of R7 000.

The younger brother of the Mvezo chief was reported to have raped the girl in Mammas shebeen in Greenside, Johannesburg. The 24 year old has also been linked to Mandla’s estranged second wife, Anaïs Grimaud, who left after a dispute over paternity of the chief’s son.

An emotional Mandla said it was a great day for his father, Makgatho – who was sometimes a forgotten man – to have the school named after him.

“Sometime when people speak about me or introduce me they forget that I am born of a father and mother. They always introduce me as Madiba’s grandson and not Makgatho’s son,” he said.

Mandla said the opening of the Makgatho Lewanika Primary School completed Madiba’s dream of affording the children quality education.

The state-of-the-art primary school followed the establishment of other quality schools in Mvezo, Madiba’s birthplace. The schools include the Nolusapho Childhood Development Centre, named after Mandla’s mother, and the Mandela School of Science and Technology, which was also opened by Zuma in 2014.

Zuma said it was his privilege and honour to officially open a school named after one of Madiba’s sons and that the school was a tribute and testimony to the global icon’s love for children and education.

“In July we marked the sixth anniversary of International Nelson Mandela Day. It is within this context that today we gather here to renew our vow that our freedom is incomplete as long as sections of our society still remain vulnerable.

“The ground on which we stand today is a refurbished school which will further the ideals of uTata, who loved children and valued education more than anything else,” Zuma.

He said the school was opened to ensure that the children of Mvezo never again became hewers of wood and drawers of water.

“We expect the next generation of Mvezo children to take up their rightful place in commerce, academia, leadership and the advancement of human rights and dignity,” said Zuma.

The R30-million school, which saw the merger of Inkwenkwezi Primary and Mvezo Junior Secondary, was refurbished through funding by the Chinese Chung Hon Dak Foundation.

The school has a state-of-the-art computer room, library and science laboratory. Its 40 computers were donated by the Airports Company of South Africa.

Zuma said the government had delivered more than 370 new schools, which had replaced mud schools and other unsuitable structures around the country.

The president also praised Mandla and the Mvezo community for their focus on education.

“Indeed, we do have a good story to tell,” Zuma said.
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