Winnie Mandela and Grace Machel at the funeral procession for former South African President Nelson Mandela on Sunday December 15, 2013., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Dec 23 2013 7:01AM
Royals back Mandla, Graca
New Age, South Africa
Mandela family affairs must be handled by Madiba’s wife, Graça Machel, and his grandson, Mandla Mandela, the abaThembu Royal house said yesterday.
The house also called on Madiba’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to stop making statements regarding such issues.
Statements were made by Madikizela-Mandela last week that Madiba’s eldest daughter Makaziwe should now be the leader of the family.
The house said all core matters involving the family were incomplete without Mandla and Machel.
The house said they were planning to meet after Christmas to discuss Madikizela-Mandela’s statement which the Madiba clan said had embarrassed the family.
Madikizela-Mandela issued a statement last week saying Makaziwe Mandela will be the head of the family. She said Makaziwe would be seconded by Madiba’s daughters, Zindziswa Mandela and Zenani Dlamini Mandela.
Chief Daludumo Mtirara of the royal house described Madikizela-Mandela’s statements as mischievous. “In our history, we have never experienced such embarrassment where a former wife misleads the public through misinformation or ignorance to advance personal interests at the expense of our custom.”
Although she (Madikizela-Mandela) never touched on Machel’s role in the Mandela family affairs, Mtirara said these affairs were supposed to be headed by Machel and Mandla.
“The royal family is aware that during the preparation for the funeral of the world icon, Madiba, Mandla’s aunts made critical decisions without the consent of Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s propaganda may worsen the situation.
“The royal family believes this behaviour must stop with immediate effect,” Mtirara said.
He said the house recognised Mandla as the head of the Mandela family.
“The royal family recognises Makaziwe Mandela, Zenani Dlamini Mandela and Zindziswa Mandela as daughters of the late former statesman and ‘ordinary’ members of the Mandela family who are expected to advise Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela as and when required.
“We do not expect them to do as they wish while there is a son of the Mandela house who is entrusted with the traditional spear to preside over the customary and other ceremonies.”
Dec 20 2013 6:15AM
Thembu chief slams Winnie
In terms of abaThembu custom Madiba’s grandson Mandla Mandela, should be the head of the family now that his grandfather is dead.
A senior member of the Mandela family, chief Mfundo Bhovulengwe Mtirara, was responding to a statement by Madiba’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on Wednesday that the family’s eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela will now be heading the Mandela family.
Madikizela-Mandela, through her spokesperson, Thato Mmereki, said: “Mrs Madikizela-Mandela would like to place it on record that there is no succession or dynasty debate in the Mandela family.”
She said Madiba had three daughters, Makaziwe Mandela, Zenani Dlamini-Mandela and Zindziswa Mandela.
“In accordance with customary law and tradition the eldest daughter being Makaziwe Mandela, will head the family and will make decisions with the support of her two sisters (Zenani and Zindziswa).
To this end there is no misunderstanding or debate. Mandla Mandela is respected as one of Nelson Mandela’s grandchildren, the next generation of the Mandela family,” Madikizela-Mandela said.
But Mtirara, who speaks on behalf of the abaThembu royal kingdom, disagreed. “In our Thembu custom, Mandla Mandela is supposed to head the Mandela family. Despite any differences that the Mandela family might have, chief Zwelivelile (Mandla) is the one who is supposed to take the lead,” Mtirara said.
Traditional Affairs researcher and an author of Iziduko zamaXhosa (Xhosa clan names), Mpumelelo Makuliwe, said according to Thembu and Xhosa customs, Madikizela-Mandela should not speak on behalf of the Mandela family.
“We have been told she is the former wife, and customs are clear that Madikizela-Mandela was not even supposed to wear those mourning clothes because Graça Machel is the current wife.
“Yes it was right that she attended the funeral but not wear mourning clothes,” he said.
Dr Nokuzola Mndende of the Icamagu Institute, said singling women alone to head the family affairs was “Western”. Mndende said customary law encourages collective leadership in the family. “The eldest son of the family should work together with the eldest daughters and head the family,” said Mndende.
Meanwhile, Mandela’s grandchildren, Ndileka and Nandi, from his first son, Thembi, yesterday called for the media to respect their period of mourning. Ndileka said family elders had asked them not to engage in any media conferences or speak out in public until the families mourning period was over.
She asked the media to leave them to “grieve in peace” and warned family members to stop feeding information to the media about family matters.
“Whoever has been making utterances to the media does not respect us,” she said.
Mandla’s spokesperson, Freddy Pilusa, said the chief of Mvezo would not respond to Madikizela-Mandela’s statement. Makaziwe Mandela could not be reached for comment.
It was unclear yesterday if Madikizela-Mandela had already left Qunu, but according to the Mandela family friend, Bantu Holomisa, she was to leave the family’s rural homestead on Wednesday while Madiba’s wife Graça was to remain in Qunu.
Dec 19 2013 6:27AM
Chiefs declare war on their king
New Age, South Africa
The abaThembu traditional leaders have declared a war against their king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo.
They say it is either they disgrace themselves or the king. They have now decided to attend any event where the king will be speaking and to intervene if he insults people.
The New Age has established that traditional leaders of the Madiba clan grouped themselves ahead of the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela in Qunu on Sunday. “They were prepared to manhandle and disgrace Dalindyebo if he had attended and had insulted people at the funeral,” one of the leaders said. “They say they have had enough of Dalindyebo’s insults.”
The controversial Thembu monarch did not attend Madiba’s funeral. “He is dead scared of us. We have had enough of him now. Enough is enough,” said a member of the abaThembu royal house.
On December 7, two days after the announcement of Madiba’s death, Dalindyebo insulted his wife Queen Noluntu Dalindyebo and called her a “bitch who sleeps around with men in the Bhisho legislature”.
He said this at the funeral of chief Ngwenyathi Joyi at Bhaziya in Mthatha. Joyi is of the Madiba clan. He and the Matanzimas, Mandelas, Dalindyebos, Mtiraras and Mnqanqenis are close relatives and members of the abaThembu royal house. According to the Thembu culture, when a member of the royal family, such as Mandela, has died, all royal house members must mourn.
They are not supposed to hurl insults or be seen hanging around in public places until the member is buried.
Dalindyebo also insulted the ANC national executive member and speaker of the provincial legislature, Fikile Xasa, and former king Sabatha Dalindyebo and local mayor Siyakholwa Mlamli at Joyi’s funeral. His spokesperson chief Mfundo Bhovulengwe Mtirara refused to comment and said the matter should be raised with the royal house.