Mandela Family In Court Battle Over Graves

Source:  Robyn Dixon / Los Angeles Times

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — As Nelson Mandela‘s poor health continued to sadden South Africans and inspire memories of his greatness, a grubby court battle unfolded Friday between members of his family.

It was, quite literally, a fight over the bodies of Mandela’s three dead children.

Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, chief of the Mvezo area in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, had the bodies dug up in 2011 and reburied in his village, where the elder Mandela was born.

Since Nelson Mandela had reportedly expressed a desire to be buried next to his children, critics saw this as a bid to ensure the country’s first black president would also be interred in Mvezo, not Qunu, where Mandela grew up and where the family grave site lies. The theory went that if Mandela’s birthplace and grave site were both in Mvezo, the village would be a tourist draw, raking in money for years to come.

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