Nelson Mandela's granddaughter speaks of her hurt over the family's dispute
Ndileka Mandela speaks to the BBC of the pain the family have undergone since Mr Mandela was taken ill
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Wednesday 17 July 2013
The granddaughter of Nelson Mandela has spoken of her “hurt” over a continuous family dispute on the eve of the former South African President’s 95th birthday.
Members of Mr Mandela’s family have been disputing the reburial of three of his children after his grandson and chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council Mandla moved their remains to his homestead in Mvezo from Qunu.
Sixteen members of the Mandela family took the dispute to the Mthatha High Court on 3 July to force the remains to be exhumed and returned to their original burial site in Qunu.
Speaking on the eve of Mr Mandela's 95th birthday, Ndileka Mandela said she would eventually forgive her brother Mandla for moving the bodies in 2011."Family will always be family, and they say blood is thicker than water [...] there's no way that I can never forgive him, it's just that right now, I'm still hurting."
During an interview with the BBC, Ndileka said that dealing with her grandfather’s illness had been difficult because of the nationwide media attention. “It’s been hard”, she said, “considering the fact that we are doing things in the public eye. Ordinary people […] go through it in the privacy of their own homes.
“We understand that because he is an extraordinary person, there will be that kind of interest. But nonetheless, we’ve never had him. […] We still don’t have him to ourselves.”
She added that members of the family had been asked upsetting questions, such as “Is it over with Mr Mandela?” and if he was on life support, which she said are "too intrusive".
The bodies of Makgatho Mandela, Mandla's father who died from Aids-related diseases in 2005, Thembekile, the father of Ndileka and Makaziwe, Mr Mandela's first daughter who died when she was nine months old have now been reburied in Qunu.
Mr Mandela remains in a Pretoria hospital where he was admitted on 8 June for a lung infection.
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