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Mandla Mandela continues graves fight

03 July 2013, 07:38

Mthatha - Former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela is challenging a court order compelling him to return to Qunu the remains of three family members he had moved to Mvezi in 2011.

Last week a court order incorrectly stated that Mandla, the official head of the Madiba clan and ANC MP, had until 29 July to move the remains, instead of 29 June.

Mandla’s counsel Phillip Zilwa said in court that he had not been properly served with court papers and that the order had, therefore, been granted erroneously and should be rescinded.

"This order should never have been granted in the first place," Zilwa said.

David Smith, counsel for 16 Mandela family members, said Mandla Mandela's behaviour in the case had been "reprehensible".

"The first respondent disingenuously tried to suggest he was misled by a mistake in court order," Smith said.

Grave tampering

Meanwhile, members of the Mandela family had opened a case of grave tampering against Mandla Mandela at the Bityi police station, said police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela.

Tuesday's hearing was attended by Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela, his grandson Ndaba and granddaughter Ndileka, but not by Mandla Mandela.

The Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha postponed the matter until Wednesday.

The graves are those of Mandela's eldest son, Mandla's father, Makgato Mandela who died in 2005; Mandela's first daughter Makaziwe, who died as an infant in 1948; and Mandela's second son Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969.

The applicants want the remains exhumed on Wednesday afternoon.

Judge Lusindiso Pakade is expected to make a decision on Wednesday.



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