Remains of Mandela's children exhumed after bitter court row
Nelson Mandela's family yesterday exhumed the remains of three of his children to be moved to a plot at his home in the rural Eastern Cape where he has reportedly said he wishes to be buried.
The family sent funeral directors and a hearse to dig up the three graves after a court ruled in its favour in an acrimonious battle that has seen the majority of Mr Mandela's relations pitted against the 94-year-old former president's eldest grandson, Mandla.
Two years ago, Mandla Mandela had the bodies moved from Qunu, where Mr Mandela spent his childhood and built his retirement home, to Mvezo, the village 18 miles south where he was born.
During this week's court hearing in the town of Mthatha, lawyers for the Mandela family accused Mandla of moving the bodies "illegally, in the dead of night".
In a statement put before the court, Mr Mandela's oldest daughter Makaziwe, the sole surviving sibling, accused her nephew of moving their bodies to Mvezo, where he has built a visitor centre, to try to "force" the family to bury Mr Mandela there too.
Mr Mandela is critically ill in hospital a month after being admitted with a lung infection. His health was described as "perilous" in a statement filed by Mr Mandela's family on Friday, made public yesterday after the judge lifted a ban on reporting of the case.
Yesterday, a judge rejected Mandla Mandela's attempt to stall the process with another appeal and ordered that the bodies be exhumed immediately and returned to Qunu. (© Daily Telegraph, London)