‘I don’t owe an explanation about who I am to Madiba’: Mayibuye Mandela

Former president Nelson Mandela's great-grandson Mayibuye Mandela claps back at paternity questions.
Former president Nelson Mandela's great-grandson Mayibuye Mandela claps back at paternity questions.
Image: Mayibuye Melisizwe Mandela/ Facebook

Mayibuye Mandela, who has been in the spotlight for fighting against the ANC’s decision to include the DA in the government of national unity (GNU), says he does not owe his detractors any explanations after some questioned his identity.

Last week Mandela topped the charts on social media after his planned protest against the GNU at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s inauguration outside the Union Buildings was foiled. Some people engaged in the debate on social media questioned his relationship to former president Nelson Mandela.

Mandela told TimesLIVE he was the former president’s great-grandson but would not explain or respond to people’s questions.

“I don’t owe anyone any explanation about who I am to the Mandela family. I am Mayibuye Mandela, and that’s the bottom line. If anyone has a problem with that, they must deal with it. I won’t entertain stupidity. We have serious issues in the country and people are concerned about my paternity — I don’t want to give stupidity life,” he said.

Mandela has criticised the ANC for its decision to form a GNU partnership with the DA. Last week he wrote an open letter to Ramaphosa expressing his disapproval about the inclusion of the DA, citing ideological differences.

Mandela said he was focused on contributing to improvement in the country.

“It doesn’t matter who I am or where I come from. What matters is the issues we are facing as a country. I have important things to focus on. As a young person I want to shape and transform the future of this country to what we desire it to be as young people. We can’t be silent and watch our country fall apart.”

He argued his surname should not be used to “silence” him. 

“What they’re saying is that because I'm Mayibuye Mandela, I have no right to voice my views. I have a right to freedom of expression. We are lucky to be in a democratic country. It must not be an issue for me to exercise my rights.” 

Mandela said he does not belong to a political party. He said he was not part of the MK Party (MKP), though he was joined by MKP members during his thwarted protest last week.

“I don’t belong to any political organisation. I’m a human being. I’m weighing my options.

“I will join a political party that is nonracial and talks about the land issue. We are tired of organisations always promising us jobs. We don’t want jobs. As the people of South Africa, we want the land and money. We want to control and be part of the economy. We don’t want to be economically excluded.”



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