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Mandela family back in court

Members of the Mandela family will continue battling over gravesites in the Mthatha High Court.

Judge Lusindiso Pakade. Picture: EWN

MTHATHA - Members of the Mandela family will go head to head once again in the Mthatha High Court in the Eastern Cape today as the battle over gravesites resumes.

At least 16 relatives have taken legal action against Nelson Mandela's grandson, Mandla, after he moved the remains of three of the former president's deceased children from Qunu, where Madiba grew up, to Mvezo, where he was born.

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.

Judge Lusindiso Phakade will study the heads of argument before making a final ruling on a matter which has revealed deep and acrimonious divisions within the Mandela family.

It will be a race against time as the initial interim court order stipulates that the remains of Madiba's three children must be relocated back to Qunu by 3pm today.

At this stage it doesn't seem as though Mandla will be backing down from his challenge to have that court order rescinded.

On Wednesday Mandla's advocate Phillip Zilwa argued the proper procedures weren't followed when it was handed down last week.

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.

A final ruling on the matter is expected at around midday.

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.