Mandla de­fi­ant over burial or­der

Claims it’s not ‘cus­tom­ary’ for his grand­fa­ther to lie next to re­mains of his chil­dren

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - HENRIËTTE GELDEN­HUYS

NEL­SON Man­dela can be buried alone, and doesn’t need to be buried along­side the re­mains of his three chil­dren at his home­stead in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape.

That’s ac­cord­ing to his em­bat­tled grand­son, Mandla Man­dela, who made ref­er­ence to his grand­fa­ther’s burial in his af­fi­davit to the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha.

Man­dela, South Africa’s first demo­cratic pres­i­dent and a world icon, re­mains crit­i­cally ill in hos­pi­tal in Pre­to­ria.

His fam­ily has been ad­vised by med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers to switch off his life sup­port ma­chine, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

Mandla’s af­fi­davit was handed in as part of his ap­pli­ca­tion to have the court or­der against him re­scinded.

Six­teen of his rel­a­tives won a court or­der against him to al­low for the re­turn of the re­mains of three of Nel­son Man­dela’s chil­dren, in­clud­ing Mandla’s fa­ther.

The name of Nel­son Man­dela’s ex-wife, Win­nie Madik­izela Man­dela, has been ex­cluded from the fi­nal or­der.

On Thurs­day, the re­mains of the three were re­turned to Qunu and re­buried at Man­dela’s home­stead, giv­ing ef­fect to the court or­der.

Mandla dis­agreed with the rest of the fam­ily’s con­tention that the mat­ter was ur­gent, and said it would not be “cus­tom­ary” for his grand­fa­ther to be buried along­side his chil­dren’s re­mains.

The rest of the fam­ily ar­gued that the re­mains needed to be re­buried ur­gently, be­cause Man­dela needed to be buried along­side them.

In his pa­pers, Mandla says: “The ap­pli­cants make the bald, un­sub­stan­ti­ated claim that the mat­ter is some­how ur­gent be­cause it is in some un­ex­plained man­ner re­lated to the burial rites of my grand­fa­ther, Nel­son Man­dela.

“Pre­cisely why the mat­ter is ur­gent is not, how­ever, ex­plained. Nor is the ten­u­ous link be­tween the re­mains and the burial of my grand­fa­ther ex­plained.”

He points out “re­spect­fully” that rea­son for the ap­pli­cants’ sug­ges­tion that Man­dela’s body “must fol­low the bod­ies of his chil­dren who have pre­de­ceased him” is not ex­plained.

And he adds: “I can con­firm that this is not in ac­cor­dance with cus­tom­ary law.”

How­ever, in af­fi­davits launched by the 16 ap­pli­cants, they ar­gued that the three rel­a­tives had be re­buried in Qunu ur­gently, so than Man­dela, when he needed to be laid to rest, could lie along­side them.

The af­fi­davit of Man­dela’s el­dest liv­ing daugh­ter Makaziwe said Madiba would be “for­lorn” if he could not be buried along­side his chil­dren’s re­mains. “The ap­pli­cants do not want a sit­u­a­tion to be cre­ated in which Mr Nel­son Man­dela’s re­mains are com­mit­ted to lie in a burial site, en­tirely alone and for­lorn, and ab­sent from those re­mains of his chil­dren and grand­child.”

She added in her af­fi­davit that it had al­ways been her fa­ther’s wish to be buried at his fam­ily’s home­stead in Qunu, near Mthatha.

PIC­TURE: AP

MY FA­THER: Makaziwe Man­dela leaves the Medi­clinic Heart Hos­pi­tal in Pre­to­ria where her fa­ther Nel­son Man­dela is be­ing treated.

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