Makaziwe letter had role in court
A HANDWRITTEN letter by Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe, written during a visit to him at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria and detailing the fact he is on life support, was handed in as part her presentations to the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha this week.
Mandela, South Africa’s first democratic president, remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Makaziwe and 15 other relatives, including Mandela’s wife Graca Machel but excluding his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, won a court order against Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela.
The court ordered that the remains of three of Mandela’s relatives – his sons Makgatho and Thembekile and his first daughter Makaziwe, who died as a baby, be returned to Mandela’s homestead in Qunu.
Mandla allegedly removed their remains from Qunu and reburied them at his homestead in Mvezo, Mandela’s birthplace. On Thursday, the remains were removed from Mvezo and reburied at Mandela’s Qunu homestead, in accordance with the court order.
In her letter, dated Friday, June 28, and stamped and signed by the hospital’s manager, JW Breedt, who acted as a commissioner of oaths, Makaziwe wrote: “To whom it may concern. I am Phumla Makaziwe Mandela, the eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela. I am currently with my father, Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela in hospital. He has spent 18 days in hospital in a critical position. He is currently on life support.
“It is very urgent that we exhume the remains of my siblings who have been unlawfully buried in Mvezo, against my father and the family’s wishes.”
The note was handed to the court as a supporting document to her affidavit.
Makaziwe said in her affidavit that doctors had advised the family to switch off Mandela’s life support machine.
But she and the other applicants argued Mandela could not rest in peace unless he could be buried beside his children.
TRIBUTE: Religious leaders and parliamentarians laid wreaths at Parliament yesterday after a prayer service for Nelson Mandela at St George’s Cathedral. Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo, third from right, said people were ‘united in a single purpose: to celebrate the legacy of our icon’.