Mandela mourning phase comes to end


THE MAIN members of the Mandela family gathered in Qunu at the weekend to mark the end of the second phase of mourning in honour of the late world icon Nelson Mandela.

Graça Machel.

They included Mandela’s wife Graça Machel and ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Following the death of Madiba last December, family and close friends of the statesman were given black buttons to wear as a sign of respect.

Phase one of the mourning rituals was ukuhlanjwa kwepeki, the washing of all the equipment used for the digging of the grave.

Royal house spokesman Daludumo Mtirara said on Saturday the black buttons family members had been wearing for the months of mourning were removed.

Mtirara said the third phase would continue to June when the spouse would conclude the entire mourning period, which the Dlomo’s had decided to reduce from a year to six months for the widow.

Mtirara said the final stage would be the slaughtering of inkomo yokukhupha (a cow to send him off).

Also present at the ceremony were Madiba’s grandson and Mvezo chief, Mandla Mandela, his younger brother Ndaba as well as Ndileka, born of Madiba’s first born son Thembekile.

Speaking to the Dispatch yesterday Mtirara said Madiba’s daughters – Zenani and Zindzi – could not make it because of other commitments

three and had sent their apologies.

“The main family members were there though, his widow Mam’Nosizwe as well as his senior grandson Nkos’Zwelivelile. It would have been improper to have the ceremony if they (Graça and Mandla) were not there,” he said.

Mtirara said both elders of the Mandela family as well as elders of the royal family were also there.

“We are pleased that everything went well. Things were done properly, the Dlomo way. The ceremony was peaceful.

Mtirara said it was also important to note this was not the end of the mourning period. It “was just the taking off of the buttons,” he said. —


  1. I am failing to understand the agenda of this royal house. All the children of Tata uRolihlahla were not there only grandchildren were present. How was this function organized without checking the availability the main members of that family? In fact Madiba’s children together with the family elders are the ones who were suppose to be at the forefront. The royal house has to be available to take responsibility of this opportunistic chaos. The royal house spokesperson went on say “it would have been improper to have the ceremony if Graca and Mandla were not there”. What about the late Rolihlahla’s children. Its quite worrying that our today traditional leaders become so devisive. At times its better to create confusion in your own family than going out and destroy other families which the owners worked very hard to build.

  2. I don’t understand this too, where is Dabs (Makaziwe) now? The late Madiba’s children should’ve been there. Chief Mtirara (Mthikrakra) claims that ceremony is properly done, I don’t agree.

  3. Chief Daludumo Mtirara and his colleagues looks like they are trying to popularize themselves but in a very destructive manner. This brings in questions on their contribution to the wellbeing of their communities or is it about personal gain. We acknowledge that the late tata Madiba was a chief but his family was always a priority to him. There are people who want to use whatever loophole in his name to settle their interests. If as traditional leaders you truly believe that his spirit is still alive you must be ashamed of convening a traditional ritual in his name without his children.