Johannesburg - The ANC has expressed deep “concern” over the Mandela family feud that has gripped the nation, but insists it’s strictly a family matter and won’t get involved unless asked.
But the party has warned that the fight between the family members could have a negative impact on Madiba’s global image and the country as a whole.
Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela, grandson of ailing Nelson Mandela, on Wednesday was instructed by the Eastern Cape High Court to return the remains of three relatives from Mveso to Qunu where they were originally buried.
In 2011, Mandla had the remains of Mandela’s three children moved to Mvezo Village, Madiba’s birthplace.
He was then hauled before the Mthatha High Court by 16 members of the family which included Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe, and his former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Makaziwe has also laid criminal charges against her nephew at the Bityi Police Station.
Responding to the ongoing furore, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Wednesday the party was “definitely concerned” about the developments because Madiba’s name and the Mandela family were recognised globally.
“Everything that touches on Madiba affects everyone in the country and abroad.
“We would like for them to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. It’s a Mandela family matter, but it has an impact on the ANC and how we are looked at internationally. So that is our wish, for them to resolve the matter as quickly as possible,” said Mthembu.
Mthembu said the party was not in a position to intervene in the matter, but would consider assisting in the mediation if requested by the family.
“We have elders but there are also elders in the family, the Mandela elders are equally capable. But the matter still concerns us,” said Mthembu.
He said the party was still hopeful that the feuding family members would come to a speedy resolution.
His comments follow a recent television interview by Madikizela-Mandela in which she said the party was “insensitive” for publishing pictures of its top leadership standing next to a frail looking Madiba.
Responding at the time, Mthembu said the ANC was in contact on a daily basis with the Mandela family and these matters raised by Madikizela-Mandela had not been raised on previous occasions.