Mandla Mandela hits out at critics
The eldest grandson of critically ill former president Nelson Mandela on Wednesday lashed out at what he called "allegations and dirt thrown in his direction".
"Nkosi Zwelivelile [Mandla] Mandela is disappointed that to date he has not been granted an opportunity to respond to the court order granted against him by the Mthatha High Court," Mandla Mandela's spokesman Freddy Pilusa said in a statement.
The Mvezo chief claimed "court papers were not properly served on him" and he had been "denied the right to respond to the contents of the court application against him".
Pilusa maintained Mandla Mandela was not opposed to moving the remains of Madiba's three children from Mvezo back to Qunu for reburial.
"He will therefore abide by the court decision while at the same time continuing to fight for his right to put on record his side of the story," Pilusa said.
The chief would hold a press briefing on Thursday.
"In the past few days, Nkosi Zwelivelile [Mandla] has had a lot of allegations and dirt thrown in his direction by all sorts of individuals baying for a few minutes of fame and media attention at his expense.
"He is therefore inviting the media to a press briefing to answer to some of these and to put to bed a lot of the issues circulating in the public space," Pilusa said.
The comments came hours after Eastern Cape High Court Judge Lusindiso Pakade ordered the sheriff of the court to exhume the graves at Mandla Mandela's property in Mvezo at 3pm on Wednesday and move them to the family farm in Qunu for reburial.
In his ruling, Pakade described Mandla Mandela's actions as "scandalous" and "vicious".
The judge said the Mvezo chief's application to have last week's court order overturned was directed at "prejudicing the applicants [the Mandela family] who have already got relief against the respondent [Mandla Mandela]".
Mandla Mandela had since launched another application to rescind the court order. This was confirmed by lawyers for both sides.
Mandla Mandela's legal team contend the graves could not be exhumed on Wednesday until the new court application was heard.
"The sheriff may not exhume the remains. If they are exhumed it will have been done unlawfully," a lawyer said.
The graves are those of Mandela's eldest son and Mandla Mandela's father Makgatho Mandela, who died in 2005; Mandela's first daughter Makaziwe Mandela, who died as an infant in 1948; and Mandela's second son Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969.
The graves were moved to Mvezo from Qunu in 2011 without the knowledge and consent of the Mandela family.