Mandela Grandson Accused of Grave Tampering in Feud

Mandla Mandela in fight with relatives over where Nelson will be buried

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2013 11:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – An unfortunate family feud that's playing out amid Nelson Mandela's final days has now turned into a legal one—involving charges of grave tampering, no less, reports the BBC. It all revolves around where Mandela will be buried. Grandson Mandla thinks it should be in the village of Mvezo, where he just happens to be chief and where his famous grandfather was born. But other family members think it should be in the nearby village of Qunu, where Mandela was actually raised and where Mandela himself has publicly stated he would like to be buried, reports ABC News.

Just how serious is Mandla? He up and moved the bodies of three of Mandela's children from the family plot in Qunu to Mvezo in 2011, without asking the rest of the family's permission. He envisions turning Mvezo into a tourist destination, and his critics say he's just trying to cash in on his grandfather's legacy. Now 16 members of Mandela's family have lodged a complaint of grave tampering against Mandla, and police are investigating. In a separate legal action, he is fighting a judge's order to return the three bodies to Qunu.

Makaziwe Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, left, and grandson Ndaba Mandela sit in court in Mthatha, South Africa, Tuesday.
Makaziwe Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, left, and grandson Ndaba Mandela sit in court in Mthatha, South Africa, Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela.
Mandla Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
The Mandela family gravesite in Qunu.
The Mandela family gravesite in Qunu.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
Mandla Mandela, center, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, in a file photo.
Mandla Mandela, center, the grandson of former president Nelson Mandela, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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