Mandla Mandela didn't receive summons

Mandla Mandela was visiting his ailing grandfather in hospital when the papers were served.

Mandla Mandela allegedly dug up the remains of three of Madiba's children and moved them to Mvezo in 2011.The family wants the remains to be reburied in Qunu in the Eastern Cape Picture:EWN

MTHATHA - Mandla Mandela didn't appear in court on Friday because he wasn't aware he had to be there, his spokesperson Freddy Pilusa said on Saturday.

The sheriff of the court was reportedly unable to deliver a summons to Madiba's grandson to appear, as the gate to his home in Mvezo was locked.

He was also not answering his phone.

Pilusa says the Mvezo chief was visiting his ailing grandfather when the papers were served.

He says he had to contact Mandla and tell him about the court action after hearing about it on the news.

Sixteen members of the Mandela family brought an urgent application against him in the Mthatha High Court on Friday.

The family wants the remains of Mandela's children to be reburied in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

Mandla allegedly dug up the remains of three of Madiba's children and moved them to Mvezo in 2011.

He did so without consulting the rest of the family.

On Friday, Judge Lusindiso Pakade granted an order in favour of the 16 applicants.

Lawyers involved in the case have refused to comment, as it's been described as a sensitive matter.