Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla Mandela was taking a break this weekend from his problems with two of his wives - with 116 of the world’s most beautiful women.
Yesterday the 38 year old was in China, live on TV as one of the judges for the Miss World pageant, held in Ordos in China.
His appearance on television comes at the end of a week of drama for the traditional chief of Mvezo and ANC MP, during which he denied fathering the baby boy of his second wife Anais Grimaud, born last September.
Mandla has accused one of his brothers - although he hasn’t said which one - of impregnating Grimaud, who has since been banished to her island home of Reunion.
In addition, Mandla’s first wife Tando Mabuna revealed that Mandla could not naturally conceive a baby: “He has fertility issues which render him incapable of producing an heir through natural conception,” she told the Mthatha High Court in an affidavit on Monday.
Mandla married Mabuna in 2004, Grimaud in 2010, and his third wife Mbalenhle Makhathini last year.
During the past week, journalists and even Mandla’s brother Mbuso were surmising about his whereabouts.
Some thought he might need some time out of the public eye to contemplate how to deal with his family crisis.
Instead, he appeared self-assured and looked suave, dressed in a suit and tie, as he addressed millions of viewers from the Miss World pageant yesterday, at the Dongsheng stadium in Ordos.
Delivering the classic cliche line, Mandla declared that “beauty is not about the outer self, but the inner self”, before encouraging the contestants to do good work in their communities.
He also said he supported the Miss World campaign Beauty with a Purpose: “We ought to rally behind them [the contestants] and give them support so they can uplift their communities.”
Describing a pre-school in Ghana, which Beauty with a Purpose intended fixing, Mandla said: “Those kids live in the worst slums, the conditions are totally inadequate.”
He added that he supported the campaign to create a permanent “state-of-the-art” structure for the children.
It also emerged that SA’s first princess Remona Moodley, who represented SA at the Miss World pageant yesterday in place of winner Melinda Bam, chatted to Mandla before taking part.
“Yes, I spoke to him. He said he would fly the South African flag in the audience,” Moodley was quoted as saying in a KwaZulu-Natal paper on Wednesday.
Shortly after Mandla’s address yesterday, the ceremony ended with the crowning of Miss China, Yu Wenxia, as Miss World 2012.
Sophie Elizabeth Moulds of Wales was the first runner-up, while Jessica Michelle Kahawaty from Australia was third. - Sunday Independent