Mandela grandson accused over graves in South Africa

  • 2 July 2013
  • From the section Africa
Media captionMandla Mandela was appointed as chief of Mvezo by his grandfather

Members of former South African President Nelson Mandela's family have laid a criminal complaint against his grandson Mandla.

Police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela told the BBC officers would investigate allegations of illegal grave tampering.

A public prosecutor would then decide whether to press charges, he said.

It involves the bodies of three of the ex-president's children, who were allegedly moved from a family graveyard about two years ago by Mandla Mandela.

In a separate case, 16 Mandela family members are seeking to move the bodies back to the graveyard in the village of Qunu, where Mr Mandela, who is critically ill in hospital with a recurring lung infection, wants to be laid to rest.

The case is being heard at the Mthatha High Court in Eastern Province and has been postponed until Wednesday.

Last week, the court granted an interim order for the remains to be exhumed and moved from Mandla Mandela's homestead in the village of Mvezo to nearby Qunu, 22km (14 miles) away.

But Mandla Mandela, who was appointed as chief of Mvezo by his grandfather, is now contesting that order.

The BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says his plans to open a heritage centre dedicated to his grandfather in Mvezo, in the estate where the graves are at the moment, have left a bitter taste in the mouths of many within the family.

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