Johannesburg - Ministers and members of the Mandela family have met AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo to convince him to attend the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela in Qunu, Eastern Cape, The Times reported on Friday.
Public Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Rural Development Minister Gugile Nkwinti, Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe, and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa met the king on Thursday to prevent potential embarrassment at the funeral on Sunday.
The king had apparently refused to attend the funeral if President Jacob Zuma was present, the newspaper reported.
The king had publicly denounced Zuma and joined the Democratic Alliance in defiance of him.
However, an unnamed royal aide told The Times the king was unhappy that Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela was hosting traditional leaders in Mvezo.
“The king is supposed to handle all issues pertaining to the royal preparations for the funeral,” the aide said.
The king had apparently told the family he refused to take instructions about the burial from Mandla.
On Wednesday, Mandela family spokesman General Themba Matanzima said Dalindyebo was expected to receive Mandela's body at the Mthatha airport or in Qunu.
The newspaper reported that in terms of custom, the king should lead the ritual of accepting the body, speaking to Mandela's spirit, and telling it that it had arrived home. - Sapa