Tests confirm identies of Mandela remains

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iol news pic Mandla Mandela home Mvezo AP Mandla Mandela's property in Mvezo were the bodies of three of former president Nelson Mandela children were buried. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Eastern Cape - Forensic tests have confirmed that the graves exhumed in Mvezo contained the remains of former president Nelson Mandela's children, the Eastern Cape Health department said on Thursday.

The tests on the three sets of remains were completed after noon on Thursday, spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said.

“The department has completed its part in the matter. The remains have been handed over to the family and the funeral parlour.”

The tests were to confirm the identities of the remains before their reburial in Qunu.

Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela had the bodies exhumed and moved to his village of Mvezo in 2011. He claimed that Mvezo, where he was building a multi-million-rand hotel, was the birthplace of the Mandelas and held historic significance.

A resident of the area took him to court last year for digging up graves, but that case has yet to be heard.

The Eastern Cape High Court on Wednesday granted members of the Mandela family, led by Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela, an order compelling Mandla Mandela to return the remains to Qunu.

He challenged the ruling, but lost. - Sapa

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