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Durban - The bitter legal battle within the Mandela family is far from over, as former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, expects to hear this week when the Mthatha High Court will hear his appeal against the judgment which led to the exhumation of his relatives’ remains.
On Sunday, Mandla, who is the chief of Mvezo village in the Eastern Cape, told The Mercury that he was eager to contest the ruling
which was in favour of his aunt Makaziwe Mandela and 15 other family members.
The court stipulated that the remains of Mandela’s children Makgatho Mandela (Mandla’s father), Makaziwe (Mandela’s first daughter), and Mandela’s second son, Thembekile, be exhumed from his Mvezo Palace and returned to their original graves in Qunu.
Mandla said his appeal should have been heard before the exhumation was allowed.
In a telephone interview Mandla’s lawyer, advocate Matthew Mphahlwa, said his client wanted the judgment overturned and the remains returned to Mvezo.
“Mandla is trying hard to reconcile (with the family), but the other side is not prepared to do the same,” said Mphahlwa.
Mandla spoke to The Mercury in Howick outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday after he finished running the 10km Nelson Mandela Day Marathon.
The family feud was far from over, he said.
He blamed Makaziwe and the other family for airing the family’s dirty linen in public by taking him to court.
“This issue should have been resolved within the family and without public knowledge, but unfortunately some within my family decided to take this matter out of the family,” he said.
Mphahlwa said Mandla’s legal team filed the appeal on the day of the judgment, with Makaziwe’s team then filing answering documents.
“We filed a reply to the answering documents about 14 days ago, and now it is up to the court to decide the date. But the court date should be known this week,” said Mphahlwa.
Mphahlwa said the original court judgment was not handed to Mandla, who was not at home when the sheriff arrived at Mvezo. Instead, he left the papers at the gate, he said.
He said his client was also challenging how his opponents could be represented by the Rhodes University Law Clinic.
“The clinic is meant to represent the poor who cannot afford legal fees,” said Mphahlwa.