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Mandela battle over graves in court

18 July 2013 - 20:50 By Sapa
Mandla Mandela. File photo.
Mandla Mandela. File photo.

Lawyers for former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela returned to the High Court in Mthatha on Thursday to seek the return of the remains of three family members to Mvezo.

"We brought an application on July 3 to rescind a court decision and the matter was set down for today [Thursday]," said his lawyer Gary Jansen.

The court had ordered Mandla Mandela to move the remains from Mvezo back to Qunu.

Lawyers for other members of the Mandela family filed a notice opposing this application. They had 14 days to file opposing papers.

On July 3 the court ordered him to return the remains of his grandfather's three children to Qunu from Mvezo, where he moved them two years ago. It then dismissed his application to rescind its decision as frivolous.

The remains are those of Mandela's eldest son Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969; Mandla Mandela's father Makgatho Mandela, who died in 2005; and Mandela's first daughter Makaziwe Mandela, who died as an infant in 1948.

Wesley Hayes, for Makaziwe Mandela and 14 other Mandela relatives, confirmed the matter was in court on Thursday.

"I can confirm that the matter was erroneously placed on the roll by the respondent's [Mandla Mandela's] attorneys," he said.

"Today saw the removal of the matter. The next step for us would be to file the opposing affidavit in due course."

On July 6, Jansen said a complaint would be lodged against the Mandela family's lawyers for misleading the courts on the condition of former president Nelson Mandela's health.

The complaint relates to an affidavit submitted by the 15 members of the Mandela family in an application to exhume the remains of the three.

Jansen said the Mandela family's lawyers had used the affidavit to mislead the court.