The abaThembu royal family revealed on Friday that they were going to respect all the wishes of one of their own and the former president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela after a much publicized family meeting at the Mandela Qunu home.
The meeting, which had been called by the Mandela family head, Mandla Mandela, who is Madiba’s grandson, had received much publicity from the media after the former wife of President Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had sought a court order attempting to stop the meeting from happening, because she had feared that violence would break out during the meeting. This order was, however, thrown out because, according to the judge, Ms Madikizela-Mandela was not within her rights to apply for the order since the Qunu home did not belong to her as she had cited in her urgent application. She was ordered to pay the costs of the application.
The Qunu home has also been in the spotlight since the demise of the world icon and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Nelson Mandela. Following the reading of his will early in 2014, which revealed that nothing had been bequeathed to the former wife who was divorced soon after his release from prison, Madikizela-Mandela has sought to challenge the ownership of the Qunu home, telling anyone who was willing to listen that the home had not been Mandela’s to give, claiming that it belonged to her since she had acquired it during the time when he was in prison.
There is strong speculation within the media fraternity that this pending contest of the Qunu home was the centre of the abaThembu discussion on Friday. They have, however, neither confirmed nor denied this, choosing only to say that whatever discussion they had engaged in was not public information. Speaking after the meeting, the chairperson of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders, Chief Ngangomhlaba Mathanzima said that what they had been discussing was a family matter which they were not willing to disclose to the public. He, however, added that they had resolved to respect the will of Nelson Mandela even if they did not like the decision.