Mvezo - Chief Zwelivelile (Mandla) Mandela, the senior grandson of Nelson Mandela, has hosted a visit from the royal couple of Monaco – with new possibilities for rural development in the offing.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco spent yesterday touring Mvezo, Mandela’s birthplace, and surrounding villages.
In an interview with the Cape Argus, Mandla Mandela said last night: “We were humbled and honoured that their royal highnesses continue to keep the relationship between the Mandela family and the Monaco royal family.”
The royal couple had attended Mandela’s funeral, and had now followed this up with a closer visit.
“It was an honour to see them come to his birthplace. They are continuing this link between them and the relationship they had with him,” Mandla Mandela said.
“It was moving and emotional, for us who have undergone this hardship as a family, to enjoy the support they have always rendered the family.
“We are very grateful for their support. We were very touched.”
Mandla Mandela said the royal couple had arrived at 1pm and left at 6pm, including being hosted for lunch at his home.
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene’s intention had been to tour the area to explore ways in which they could contribute towards alleviating “the many challenges that still face the community of Mvezo and its surrounding villages”.
They had been briefed on “successful projects such as an interpretive centre, a fully operational clinic and a soon-to-be-opened Mandela School of Science and Technology with its 11m-tall sculpture, created by internationally recognised installation artist Daniel Popper”, a press release said.
Mandla Mandela said: “Princess Charlene has been an Olympian for South Africa, and she’s really dedicated to ensuring that rural poor children can be taught the basics of swimming, so she’s really looking for a project to embark on.”