Mandla out in the cold

He’s losing control of Mandela affairs to Makaziwe
He fights court ruling on family burial row
He shuns Bizos court action association

MANDLA Mandela’s defiance of senior Mandela family members has backfired and he is finding himself out in the cold.

He has fallen from grace and his position in the family is being questioned and challenged.

Over the years, Mandla has been speaking on behalf of the family on various issues in the media – and building a tourism empire at Mvezo as Nelson Mandela’s birthplace.

He has been accused of being greedy and trying to use former president Mandela’s iconic fame as his personal cash-cow.

The last straw came on Friday when 17 members of the Mandela family asked the Mthatha High Court to compel Mandla to exhume to remains of Mandela’s children – Makaziwe, Thembekile and Makgatho.

The interim ruling was unopposed by Mandla, but yesterday he said he was going to oppose it.

Makgatho was Mandla’s father, and in 2011 Mandla moved their remains from the family gravesite in Qunu to Mvezo where Mandela was born.

A member of the family who asked to remain anonymous said the only thing keeping Mandla in the family was Madiba.

“Once the old man dies Mandla will be on his way down and out of the family,” he said.

“He stole the remains of Madiba’s children from Qunu to Mvezo in 2011 because he knew that he [Mandela] will want to be buried with [his] children, and that would be his diamond field.”

Now Mandla has gone on the offensive, and said he is prepared to fight the family in court as his lawyer will today file papers opposing the order to exhume the remains of the three for reburial in Qunu.

Yesterday Mandla released a statement he was “regrettably compelled to go to court and respond to the action taken against me”.

“The way we are handling this matter is contrary to our customs and a deep disappointment to my grandfather and his ancestors,” said Mandla in a statement.

He said he was “sad and disappointed that yet again some members of the family have chosen the courts to resolve intricate family matters”.

The judge ordered Mandla to pay all legal costs.

The family member said: “How dare he not want to move the bones back – who is he? … He did not have to be this greedy.”

In yesterday’s statement Mandla added: “This court action still continues to this day even with my grandfather fighting for his life in hospital.

“Once more the focus of the family is being diverted for reasons that still baffles me.

“Just like I did regarding the previous court action, I am still determined not to be drawn into conflicts that seem to be geared towards serving only narrow and short term interests.”

Mandla’s isolation became apparent earlier this year when he said he did not want to be associated with a court action by his family against Advocate George Bizos, Human Settlement Toyko Sexwale and Bally Chuene, which related to the family trust fund.

He made it clear that he did not want to be associated with the case and called it “a clear squabble” over Mandela’s monies.

On Saturday journalists gathered outside Mandla’s Mvezo home, but the gate was locked.

Madiba’s great grandchild Mayibuye said they were expecting journalists in the village and had been instructed not to allow anyone to take pictures in the village.

The Daily Dispatch reliably learnt that Mandla had instructed villagers not to speak to anyone from outside the village.

On Saturday night a number of vehicles, including the bus from Mvezo Great Place, were at Mandela’s Qunu house but it is yet not clear what the meeting was about.

The Dispatch has also learnt some Madiba clan family members are planning to meet to discuss issues affecting the Mandela family.


  1. Ghost town in the making…Oh Mandla you’ve blown it with the women, your family and possibly the ancestors as well. The only possible way out is to call up the ancestors and ask them to contact the media.

  2. Its almost 2 years;what were they waiting for?The Grandson is very greedy.
    No.2 .We also don’t know how Mandla took advantage and manipulated Tata when he was very sick in 2011.

    kodwa kuyo yonke lonto-Grandparents and grandchildren: bassop