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Mandla won't prevent exhumation

Mandla Mandela has however filed a new urgent application to rescind Wednesday’s ruling.

Chief Mandla Mandela during prayer for his grandfather, Nelson Mandela. Picture:Renée de Villiers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Mandla Mandela will not stop the exhumation of remains of his family members following a court ruling, his spokesperson revealed on Wednesday.

On Friday, at least 16 members of the Mandela family brought a court case against Mandla in the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha.

They wanted to force him to return the remains of three of Madiba's children from Mvezo to Qunu.

Earlier on Wednesday, the court ruled against Mandla.

The judge found his actions to be "scandalous" and "vicious".

Makaziwe Mandela and two other family members embraced their lawyers after the judge handed down his ruling.

Mandla's spokesperson Freddy Pilusa said, "The chief has never been opposed to the repatriation of the remains. He's gone on record on several occasions saying that. He has been taken to court and he had to respond. The chief respects the law."

At the same time, Mandla's lawyers filed a new urgent application to rescind Wednesday afternoon's ruling.

Mandela had until 3pm to comply with the order, failing which the sheriff of the court would carry out the exhumations.

Attorney Gary Jansen said, "We have now launched an urgent application to rescind the judgment. We're trying to get hold of the duty judge."

Mandla reportedly exhumed the remains of his father Makgatho Mandela, who died in 2005; Mandela's first daughter, Makaziwe, who died as an infant in 1948; and Mandela's second son, Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car accident in 1969.

He did so without consulting the family.

The family feud has exposed deep divisions.

Meanwhile, a convoy of hearses arrived in Mvezo on Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by members of the Mandela family.

Three hearses and funeral parlour officials in white coats were spotted in Qunu earlier this afternoon.

Meanwhile, former president Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition at a Pretoria hospital.

He was admitted on 8 June due to a recurring lung infection.