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SATURDAY, 19 APR 2014
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Mandela family feud resumes after funeral
Associated Press
Tobeka Zuma, Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)
Tobeka Zuma, Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson Mandela's former wife, South African President Jacob Zuma, and Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela watch as former South African President Nelson Mandela's casket arrives at his burial site following his funeral service in Qunu, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Elmond Jiyane, GCIS)
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JOHANNESBURG: An ongoing feud between some of the Mandela family members that has made headlines in the past year has taken another turn with a report that Mandla Mandela was locked out of the family’s homestead in the village of Qunu by relatives four days before his grandfather, Nelson Mandela, was buried there.

Mandla is also reported to have found his home on the Mandela estate without electricity and water on the day of his grandfather’s burial.

The Johannesburg tabloid The Times reported Tuesday that locks at Nelson Mandela’s home in the Eastern Cape hamlet were changed shortly after his eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, arrived there Thursday.

At the time, Mandla Mandela was keeping vigil next to his grandfather’s coffin while the anti-apartheid icon’s body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for three days.

He escorted the coffin to Qunu Saturday for Mandela’s funeral the following day.

Approached for comment on the report Wednesday, Mandla Mandela’s spokesman, Freddy Pilusa, told the Associated Press: “He (Mandla) doesn’t want to confirm nor deny the report. He wants to focus on promoting and upholding the legacy of his grandfather going forward.”

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

The newspaper report said that since Mandela’s death on Dec. 5:

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

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

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

r Traditional family rituals, scheduled to be held in Mvezo, a town near Qunu, where Mandla is Madiba clan chief, were cancelled.

r No transport to the funeral was provided for Mandla’s mother, Nolusapho. They were brought to the funeral after a family member sent a text message to Mandla telling him of the situation. Nolusapho, who in the early 1970s was with Nelson Mandela’s now-deceased son, was reportedly in tears.

Further hostilities are expected to break out over Mandela’s will, the contents of which are not yet public.

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

Makaziwe and Mandla locked horns earlier this year when Mandla moved the remains of his father and two other relatives to Mvezo, Mandela’s birthplace and where Mandla is tribal chief.

With Makaziwe spearheading the campaign to have the remains exhumed, Mandla was forced by a court order to return the remains to Qunu, where Mandela grew up and where he had expressed a wish to be buried.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 19, 2013, on page 10.
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