Friday 15 December 2017

Nelson Mandela's grandson accused of grave tampering

Mandla Mandela: in dispute with family members
Mandla Mandela: in dispute with family members

e Moreton

NELSON Mandela's eldest grandson has been accused of illegal grave tampering as a dispute within the family grew increasingly acrimonious.

Members of the former South African president's family laid the charge against Mandla Mandela at a police station in the Eastern Cape yesterday, according to a police spokesman.

He added that a public prosecutor would decide whether or not to press charges.

The accusations involve the bodies of three of Mr Mandela's children, which Mandla (38) moved from a family graveyard about two years ago.

A judge will decide today in the Eastern Cape High Court where the bodies should eventually be laid to rest, a ruling that is likely to dictate where Mr Mandela is eventually buried.

Mr Mandela, who is aged 94, is believed to be on life support in a Pretoria hospital, where his condition has been described as "critical but stable".

He has said that he wants to be buried on a hillside overlooking the home he built in his childhood village of Qunu after he was released from prison, alongside his children.

However, his eldest grandson, who inherited his position as a chief in the Thembu tribe, moved the bodies two years ago to his own village of Mvezo, 13 miles away.Sixteen other members of the Mandela family, including the former president's eldest daughter, Makaziwe, made the application to have the remains reburied in Qunu.

Makaziwe Mandela has taken a lead in family matters since her father was admitted to hospital.

She arrived in court yesterday with two of Mr Mandela's grandchildren.

Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela of the Mthatha police said: "Members of the Mandela family opened a case of tampering with a grave against Mandla Mandela at Bityi police station."

Meanwhile, FW de Klerk (77), Mr Mandela's predecessor as president, is to enter hospital to be fitted with a pacemaker. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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