Makaziwe let­ter had role in court

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

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.

PIC­TURE: TRACEY ADAMS

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’.

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