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D-day for Mandla Mandela in grave case

Police are also investigating a criminal case against Mandla for tampering with graves.

Mandla Mandela and his wife. Picture: EWN

MTHATHA - Mandla Mandela is hoping Judge Lusindiso Phakade will set aside an order that he return the remains of three of former President Nelson Mandela's children to Qunu by 3pm today.

The public battle between members of the Mandela family comes as the 94-year-old spends a fourth week in hospital for a recurring lung infection.

Phakade is expected to make a decision at around lunchtime.

On Tuesday, Mandla's advocate Phillip Zilwa asked Judge Phakade to withdraw the order.

Sixteen members of the Mandela family brought an urgent application against Mandela's grandson Mandla, in the Mthatha High Court on Friday.

They want the remains to be moved back from Mvezo to Qunu after Mandla had them exhumed and moved without their permission.

Police in the area confirmed on Tuesday they had been asked to investigate a criminal case against Mandela for tampering with the graves.

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 said the way in which the remains were exhumed was illegal.

Meanwhile, Madiba remains hospitalised at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria after being admitted on 8 June.

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