Mandla Mandela to challenge interdict

2013-06-30 11:30
Mandla Mandela (Picture: Sapa)

Mandla Mandela (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela will challenge an interim court interdict against him relating to the reburial of some of the ailing icon's relatives, he said on Sunday.

"The way we are handling this matters is contrary to our customs and a deep disappointment to my grandfather and his ancestors," Mandla Mandela said in a statement.

He said he was "regrettably and reluctantly" compelled to go to court and respond to the action taken against him.

On Friday, while the Nobel Peace Prize laureate lay critically ill in hospital, the Mthatha Magistrate's Court heard an urgent application by 16 people against Mandla Mandela.

The application was reportedly to have the remains of some of the former president's relatives moved from Mvezo to Qunu, and was also made against Eastern Cape premier Noxolo Kiviet and health MEC Sicelo Gqobana.

City Press reported that Judge Lusindiso Pakade issued an interim order on Friday afternoon interdicting Mandla Mandela from preventing the reburial and from interfering with the process, which was expected to be concluded in the next few days.

Mandla opposing the matter

Mandla Mandela was also ordered to pay the legal costs of the hearing, even though he was not there.

His lawyer, advocate Matthew Mpahlwa, confirmed to the newspaper that he had decided to oppose the matter. A motion would be filed on Monday on the basis that the remains were in the right place in Mvezo, where Mandela was born.

In his statement on Sunday, Mandla Mandela expressed disappointment that family members had chosen to turn to the courts to resolve intricate family matters.

"It is important at all times that we as a family avoid actions and decisions that will infringe on the dignity of my grandfather," he said.

"As the nation and the world continues to send their support and prayers, the family's efforts must be geared towards caring for him and to avoid putting his name in disrepute."

Mandla Mandela said he was determined not be drawn into conflicts which seemed to be geared towards narrow and short-term interests.

'Not an easy task'

"When I was installed as the chief of Mvezo in 2007, 70 years after the Mandela chieftaincy was taken away from us, my grandfather warned me that the task of being a custodian of our customs and culture and the responsibility to preserve these will not be an easy one.

"I promised him then to do everything in my power to be a guardian of these cultures and to work hard to facilitate development for the people of Mvezo, one of the poorest communities in the Eastern Cape."

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that elders from the Mandela family and local chiefs believed the former president's prolonged ill health could be attributed to the ancestors being angry with Mandla Mandela's actions relating to the reburials.

The elders reportedly feared that the ancestors could have "cursed" the Mandela family.

"Mandela's soul is not at peace. The ancestors will only be appeased once the remains of the Mandela family are reburied in Qunu. Only then will Tata be released," one of the chiefs told the newspaper.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  mandla mandela

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