Mandla Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela, will face criminal charges for reburying the remains of family members in Mvezo. In 2011 Mandla took the remains of relatives without the permission of his family members and buried them in Nelson Mandela’s hometown of Mvezo.
The remains were that of Nelson Mandela’s children, siblings and his father. Nelson Mandela’s father, Makgatho Mandela, who died from Aids-related diseases in 2005. Nelson Mandela’s siblings, Thembekile, who was killed in a car accident in 1969, and Makaziwe, who died when she was nine months old.
Nelson Mandela had let it be known that his desire was to be buried with his departed loved ones, who were previously laid to rest at Qunu. With Nelson Mandela’s kin’s remains now at Mvezo, there is speculation that Mandla Mandela will build a Hotel near the location of the burial spots. This revelation left a bad taste in the mouths of fellow clan members.
Mandla Mandela was appointed Chief of Mvezo by his grandfather, Nelson Mandela. Mvezo is 22km (14 miles) away from Qunu. Qunu is a small rural village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. Makgatho Mandela was deposed as Mvezo’s chief and relocated to Qunu. Nelson Mandela grew up in Qunu in where his children were buried in the family plot. He is quoted as saying he spent the happiest years of his life in Qunu.
Sixteen of Mandla’s relatives were outraged by the actions of the grandson of Nelson Mandela and he now faces criminal charges. “A case is opened at the police station and we will now investigate that case,” said police Lt. Col. Mzukisi Fatyela. ‘Tampering with a grave’ were the charges pressed against Mandla.
An African high court granted family members an interim order for the remains of three of Nelson Mandela’s children to be exhumed from Mvezo. Family members wish is for the remains to be reburied in Qunu. It is not clear if Mandla’s lawyers will appeal the ruling.
Nelson Mandela reportedly remains critically ill in the hospital. There continues to be a great deal of speculation about his condition.
Nelson Madela has been in a Pretoria hospital since june 8th for a recurring lung infection. There has been deep concern about his welfare in South Africa and around the world. He had spent 27 years in prison under apartheid and emerged to negotiate an end to the white racist rule.
The government is issuing reports that the former president’s condition is being closely watched by the media and national officials. The world waits with abated breath of what is to come in the following weeks in Pretoria.
Whoever wins the right of control of the remains of Nelson Mandela’s ancestors may have final say as to the burial rites of the former president. Mandla, as grandson of the former president and named chief of Mvezo by his grandfather, has an apparently legitimate intention for his actions.
The 16 family members have not made their individual identities known to the media regarding their concerns about the remains. The grandson of Nelson Mandela faces criminal charges for defying the faceless mob of his relatives, and faces the judgment of the mass media.
By Thomas Barr