‘Mandla Mandela locked out of Qunu’

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mandla dec 17

Jacoline Prinsloo

Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla. Photo: Jacoline Prinsloo

Four days before Nelson Mandela's funeral, relatives locked Mandla Mandela out of the family's homestead in Qunu, Eastern Cape, it has been reported.

The Times has reported that locks were changed at Nelson Mandela's Tuscan-style home shortly after his eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela arrived on Thursday.

Attempts by Mandela's widow, Graça Machel, and George Bizos, a close family friend and top human rights lawyer, to quell the feud over the Nobel p eace laureate's estate have repeatedly failed, the newspaper said.

The report said that since Mandela's death on December 5:

* Water and lights at Mandla's house on the Mandela estate were disconnected late on Saturday. The occupants, including Mandla, had no water when they awoke on Sunday;

* Makaziwe had told Mandla, the statesman’s grandson, that he must remove his cattle, pigs and dogs from the homestead;

* Relatives, politicians and religious leaders aligned to Mandla were sidelined and refused accreditation for Sunday's funeral;

* Traditional family rituals, scheduled to be held in Mvezo, where Mandla is Madiba clan chief, were cancelled.

* No transport to the funeral was provided for Mandla's mother, Nolusapho, or for her sister. They were brought to the funeral after a member of the family sent an SMS to Mandla telling him of the situation. Nolusapho was in tears, according to a witness.

A further outbreak of hostilities is expected over Mandela's will, the contents of which have not been made public.

 Makaziwe, who is said to wield great influence in the family, oversaw the family's preparations for Mandela's funeral.

The newspaper said that sources close to the family said some of Mandela's relatives found that the locks had been changed at the Qunu homestead when they arrived on Friday.

Mandla had been standing vigil at his grandfather's coffin at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria, while the body lay in state for three days. He escorted the coffin to Qunu on Saturday. He had been in Gauteng since Mandela's death. 

Mandla and Makaziwe have been involved in a public spat over the control of Mandela's legacy and leadership of the fractured family.

Mandla and his lawyer and royal adviser, Matthew Mpahlwa, refused to comment on the events leading up to the funeral and the feud that threatens to rip the family apart.

Makaziwe - who led a campaign to exhume the remains of Mandela's children in Mvezo - could not be reached for comment, the newspaper said. - IOL

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