Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wave of Activity at Madiba Family Gravesite

Jun 26 2013 2:55PM

Wave of activity at Madiba family gravesite

Sithandiwe Velaphi, Qaanitah Hunter and Itumeleng Mafisa
South African New Age

As well-wishers continued to gather outside the Medi Clinic heart hospital in Pretoria where former President Nelson Mandela is in a critical condition, Madiba's hometown of Qunu and the family gravesite was a hive of activity on Wednesday.

The entrance to the hospital has been turned into a Madiba shrine with colourful balloons, flowers and cards adorning the rights side of the hospitals entrance.

Journalists waited patiently for family elders from Eastern Cape due to arrive to assess Mandela's health.

Meanwhile, the Mandela family appears to be riven by divisions over "sensitive decisions" made regarding the health of the former President Nelson Mandela.

Amid reports of meetings at Madiba's home in Qunu, at least five close family members have confirmed to The New Age that they have been left in the dark regarding family meetings and decisions.

"We are only hearing what the media is reporting, I really don't know anything," one of Mandela's grandsons who did not want to be identified, said.

Another close family member said that decisions made where not done through consensus of the family.

"I really don't know what is happening in Qunu at the moment.

I am not aware of anything," a family member said from Johannesburg.

Back in Qunu three graders were paving the road to former president Nelson Mandela's family grave site in Qunu this (Wed) morning, it was clear that the road construction
started in the morning and was meant to accommodate a contingent of vehicles and people should the world-renowned leader pass on.

Six men were inside the cemetery clearing and cleaning its walkways.

"It is concerning but clear that the cleaning of those graves has something to do with the condition of Baw' uMandela," said villager elder Qabukile Mvimbi.

Police have been deployed around the homestead preventing strangers and the media from hovering near the grave site and road construction.

It was quiet inside the Madiba household with no cars inside the yard.

Neighbours were busy with their daily routine looking after livestock, washing clothes and cleaning their houses.

Construction workers in front of the homestead were also busy on N2. Madiba's grandson, Chief Mandla Mandela, who was part of the meeting yesterday could not be reached for comment.

One of the homestead's employees, who apparently was puzzled by the latest developments said :“They told me that the road that was being graded was leading to the grave site.

They said it was going to cut across the plantation field below the homestead and straight to the cemetery” .

Pictures: Reuters;

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