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Mandela's grave case postponed
From: New Age          Published On: July 2, 2013, 13:22 GMT
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Mandela's grave case postponed

The Eastern Cape High Court has postponed until Wednesday a hearing about the relocation of the graves of former president Nelson Mandela's children.

His grandson Mandla Mandela has brought an application for the setting aside of an order made last week, to 16 of his relatives, compelling him to return the remains of the three children to Qunu from Mvezo, where he had them reburied two years ago.

His lawyer Phillip Zilwa told the court on Tuesday that the order was "erroneously" granted.

"This order should never have been granted in the first place," he said.

"Everyone has the constitutional right to be heard in court," Zilwa said.

He wanted the court to hear from Mandla Mandela before the order was made final.

"You don't grant an order against an absent party without letting that party know you are bringing an order against them," he said.

David Smith, appearing for the 16 Mandela family members who brought the initial application, submitted that Mandla Mandela's behaviour had been "reprehensible".

After hearing arguments Judge Lusindiso Pakade said he wanted both parties to submit heads of argument to him by Wednesday.

The 16 relatives had until 7am to submit papers outlining their case. Mandla Mandela had until 10am to file opposing papers.

Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela, her nephew Ndaba, and niece Ndileka, all applicants in the case, were present during proceedings on Tuesday.

Local and international media mobbed them when they left the court.

In an interview with the Eastern Cape daily newspaper, Dispatch, Ndaba Mandela called his brother Mandla power-hungry and self-obsessed.

When Makaziwe Mandela was asked, while leaving the court, what she thought of Ndaba's comments, she said: "Ndaba has the right to express himself. I have no further comment."

The three then sped away in Ndaba's double cab bakkie to Madiba's homestead in Qunu.

Eastern Cape police confirmed that a criminal case was opened against Mandla Mandela on Tuesday.

"Yes, I confirm a case of tampering with a grave was opened at Bityi police station on July 2," Lt-Col Mzukisi Fatyela said.

Fatyela declined to reveal who had laid the charge.

"A case is opened at the police station and we will now investigate that case."

The remains of Mandla Mandela's father Makgatho, who died in 2005; Mandela's first daughter Makaziwe, who died as an infant in 1948; and Mandela's second son Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969, were moved from Qunu to Mvezo in 2011.

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