South African Judge Orders Grandson To Exhume Mandela's Children

by
Reuters
A judge ordered Nelson Mandela's grandson to exhume the bodies of three of the anti-apartheid leader's children on Wednesday and return them to their original graves, the latest twist in a dispute that has divided South Africa's most famous family.

Nelson Mandela

A judge ordered Nelson Mandela's grandson to exhume the bodies of three of the anti-apartheid leader's children on Wednesday and return them to their original graves, the latest twist in a dispute that has divided South Africa's most famous family.

Judge Lusindiso Pakade, sitting in the regional court in Mthatha, 700 km (450 miles) south of Johannesburg, told 39-year-old Mandla Mandela, the chief of the clan and Mandela's official heir, to comply with the order by 3 pm (1300 GMT).

With 94-year-old Mandela critically ill in a Pretoria hospital, 16 of his family members applied last week for a court order to force Mandla to return the bodies, which were moved two years ago from the village of Qunu, where Mandela grew up.

Mandla had the remains transferred 20 km (12 miles) to his Eastern Cape village of Mvezo. He has not revealed why he reburied them but Mvezo is where Mandela was born and where many South Africans believe Mandla wants the country's first black president to be buried.

Mandela's eldest daughter, Makaziwe, who led the legal challenge against Mandla, declined to comment to reporters after the ruling. "This is a private family matter," she said.

A lawyer for Mandla told reporters he would contest the ruling.