Criminal charges laid against Mandla Mandela

Many members of the Mandela family have complained that his actions were illegal.

Chief Mandla Mandela thanked South Africans for praying for his grandfather on 12 June 2013. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

MTHATHA - Eastern Cape police confirmed on Tuesday that criminal charges have been laid against Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla over the exhumation and reburial of the former president's three children.

Sixteen members of the Mandela family were granted a draft order against him in the Mthatha High Court last week.

The family wants the remains of Madiba's children to be reburied in Qunu after Mandla moved them to his homestead in Mvezo two years ago.

According to an amendment to the order made on Tuesday, Mandla has been given until 3pm on Wednesday to remove the remains from Mveso.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mandla's lawyer Phillip Zilwa said there should never have been a court order granted against his client and called the case frivolous.

He said Mandla did not even have an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations.

Mandela's daughters Makaziwe and Ndileka and his grandson Ndaba attended the court hearing.

Their advocate, David Smith, referring to the charges now laid against Mandla, said the way in which the remains were exhumed was illegal.

Meanwhile, Madiba remains hospitalised at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted on 8 June due to a reoccurring lung infection.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday morning that it is worrying that the Mandela family were fighting while he was in hospital.

During a prayer service outside Luthuli House for the former president in Johannesburg, Mantashe admitted he was concerned.

"The family must look at Mandela and see that he was a unifier. They must reconcile. They must talk to each other and find a common goal."