Unseemly Mandela Family Feud Bursts into the Open at Sensitive Time

Ron Allen, NBC News, July 4, 2013

It is a family feud that is emotional, unseemly, public and probably could not be happening at a worse time.

On live television Thursday, Nelson Mandela’s oldest grandson accused fellow family members of trying to cash in on the anti-apartheid icon’s legacy.

“This is the very family that has taken their own father, their own grandfather, to court for his monies,” he said referring to a long-running battle by his aunt Makaziwe to remove the guardians of a Mandela charitable trust.

The news conference–during which Mandla Mandela also shocked many when he revealed that his son was the product of a liaison between his brother and his now ex-wife–followed a court order that he exhume the graves of three of the former president’s children, and return them to their original resting place.

The court said Mandla had to return the remains to a family plot that he had removed them from two years ago, without the rest of the family giving permission or apparently even being aware.

The dispute involved a burial site in the village of Mvezo, where Nelson Mandela was born, and where grandson Mandla, 38, is now the traditional chief, and a family graveyard in the village of Qunu, 17 miles away, where Mandela grew up, and where he has said he wants to be laid to rest.


Mandela’s grandson has been building what’s alternatively been described as a “heritage center,” or “tourist attraction,” that he allegedly hoped would include the grave of Nelson Mandela, when that time inevitably comes.

More than a dozen of Mandela’s children, grandchildren and relatives, including his wife, Graca Machel, had brought the matter to court.

Mandla said Thursday that he moved the bodies based on his right as chief to decide the final resting place of family members.

“I hold the right to determine where he is buried. I am the chief of Mvezo, as a traditional leader and the head of the royal house of Mandela,” he said.

Despite this assertion, last week, the rival faction led by aunt Makaziwe, won the order for the bodies to be returned to Qunu. {snip}

The graves in question were those of Makgatho Mandela, Nelson Mandela’s oldest son and Mandla’s father, who died in 2005 of an AIDS-related illness. The remains of Makaziwe Mandela, the elder statesman’s first daughter who died as an infant in 1948, and Mandela’s second son, Madiba Thembekile, killed in a car accident in 1969, were also in dispute.

Mandla maintained that his family has turned against him because he refused to support them in another legal dispute concerning control of one of Nelson Mandela’s trust funds. {snip}


Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu appealed to members of the Mandela family to display the grace “their patriarch and the nation deserves at this somber moment.”

“Please, please, please may we think not only of ourselves. It’s almost like spitting in Madiba’s face,” Archbishop Tutu said in a statement released Thursday.

“Your anguish, now, is the nation’s anguish–and the world’s. We want to embrace you, to support you, to shine our love for Madiba through you. Please may we not besmirch his name,” he added.



Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Puggg

    Oh gosh, it’s like the decades long food fight over Martin Luther King waged by his family members against each other and outsiders after he died. And Nelson Mandela hasn’t even kicked off yet! Some dreams are really worth milking for every shekel you can get.

    • Oil Can Harry

      When Al Sharpton dies hs family will fight over who gets his EBT card.

  • Spartacus

    “The news conference–during which Mandla Mandela also shocked many when
    he revealed that his son was the product of a liaison between his
    brother and his now ex-wife…”


    I’d probably be shocked if I didn’t know they’re blacks…

    • Oil Can Harry

      Another classy moment occurred shortly after the death of drug thug Trayvon Martin when his “Moms” tried to trademark his image so she could cash in.

      • Sick of it

        That’s an awful thing to do after your child dies!

        • Spartacus

          They probably wanted to make a “Trayvon” Skittles flavor. I can just see the commercial – “If yu hates them creepy a*s cracka’s, by Trayvon Skittles and you iz gonna be ghettofabulaized.”

        • Melanie

          I don’t think she even raised him (for what that’s worth). It seems the girlfriend of the dad, did the “raising”.

        • No one should be surprised. They make as many ghetto bastards as they can just to get more EBT cards.

      • She wanted to team up with Nabisco to market “Creepy @ss Crackers”.

  • David Ashton

    Exhumation of graves? Did I imagine it, or weren’t two bodies exhumed in South Africa quite recently thought to be possible victims of the former Mrs Mandela’s political comrades?

  • Nelson Mandela ©®.

  • candide

    This is what Bantu do.

  • c684570

    Classy family.

    • dukem1

      Unusual none of those involved is not described as an “aspiring rap artist.”

      • haroldcrews

        Apparently in South Africa the aspirations are higher. The tribal chief aspires to royalty.

    • The__Bobster

      Like the Jacksons? Or James Brown’s fambly?

  • There might be a common trait to these famblies; I wonder that that could be.

    • jane johnson

      We must always remember that the patriarchs of these families are civil rights “icons”; therefore, their bestial, ghoulish behavior is not to be criticized.

      • Like beating up white hookers or blowing up a train station full of innocent commuters?

        • jane johnson

          And that’s just the stuff we know about.

  • anarchyst

    The Mandela relatives will copyright all of Mandela’s speeches, photos and the like the same way that Martin Luther Koon (oops, I mean “king”) did with his “data”. One cannot post a photo of MLK without paying some kind of “royalty” to the heirs . . . the same will be true with the Mandela’s “artifacts”. . .

    • Melanie

      Which is a further insult to all the people from whom he plagiarised his material.

      • Plagiarized: like his doctoral dissertation?

        • Melanie

          Yes, and his “I Have A Dream” speech, including its most famous line.

    • Melanie

      And not unrelated to the way Traythug’s mama has copyrighted Traythug’s name.

  • Nick Gherz

    i.e., MLK inc.

  • Unperson

    Nelson Mandela is a disgusting human being — and, apparently, the rest of his “fambly” are too.

    When it comes to white-haired old negroes, I have more way respect for Uncle Remus.

    • itdoesnotmatter

      Black trailer trash.

    • jane johnson

      Have I got something for you!

  • Sure “democracy” works in Africa: One man, one vote… once.

  • Melanie

    Democracy just does not work with Africans. It doesn’t seem to work for anyone after enough time. Eventually, too many people voting themselves largesse from the public purse.

    • Brutus

      With a strictly limited franchise, democracy might be made to work. But universal suffrage yields universal suffering.

      • The problem is that societal parasites vote in elected officials who promise them goodies; for them this societal parasitism is a lifestyle. These elected officials in turn make their careers out of buying votes with taxpayers’ money. I wouldn’t go as far as wanting a poll tax or imposing property qualifications, but certainly nobody on any sort of public assistance should be allowed to vote.

  • Melanie

    And the western, white countries which forced the white SAs into this predicament, only to abandon them, won’t give white SAs asylum.

    • Stentorian_Commentator

      Yes, I really could not care less about Mandela family infighting. It’s the whites who will be killed that worries me.

      • They should have thought about this BEFORE they gave their country away. They were warned, just like the USA has been warned.

  • 1proactive2

    Among the artifacts left for Mandela’s memorial building, will his family leave an old tire and a bright red gasoline can next to it sitting in some enclosed glass case? For those not in the know, old tires filled with gasoline were put on an enemy’s neck and set afire. Mandela’s gang called it “necklacing”.

    Just wondering.

    • IstvanIN

      That would be Winnie Mandela’s legacy.

      • 1proactive2

        Under bruthas Nelson’s management. The leaders get the perks, but they’re responsible for everything under their supervision. Then again, that’s a pretty “white” construct.

  • Brutus

    The Afrikaners have a history of survival against overwhelming odds. This is far from the first time that blacks have tried to exterminate them, and will probably not be the last time.

  • “Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu appealed to members of the Mandela
    family to display the grace “their patriarch and the nation deserves at
    this somber moment.”

    Oh, I’m sorry – you mean he’s serious?!

  • Mark Hillyard

    “Your anguish, now, is the nation’s anguish–and the world’s”
    Speak for yourself!
    I’ve seen this squabble among families and it doesn’t matter the race. Money is money.

  • Mark Hillyard

    “Whites will lose”
    I’ve got an idea that this will not be the case. An ability to organize is far better than a million man army against a small 100,000 man army with organization. That makes a huge difference in any form of struggle.
    Just use a pro boxer and put him up against a person who has never been taught the art. The well aware and organized boxer could probably take on several unorganized attackers.

  • Mark Hillyard

    If the White Afrikaners (spelling) do what is right and look to God for help this will happen and people will know a bit more that there is a God who looks over his people. “…the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
    But of course the heathen will cry foul.

  • Paleoconn

    To go neocon on y’all: “this is a stain on the legacy of Nelson Mandela”.

    I wonder how many people know what Mandela was in prison for. I bet they all say ‘political prisoner’. yeah, just like Mumia. Mandela was imprisoned for terrorism, bombs that aimed to kill SA Whites. There is also a pretty cool youtube video of him singing with others (including some Whites) something about killing Whites. Ah, but was a peace-loving, angelic man!

  • IstvanIN

    I suppose we could sum all this up by saying: “wherever an African goes, you have Africa.”

    • This certainly applies in places like Detroit, Camden, Newark, East St. Louis… well, you get the idea.

  • rebellisMMXII

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard “cracker” used before about 15 years ago.