Last week it was reported that the Abathembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo would be removing Mandla Mandela as chief of Mvezo after he conducted himself inappropriately during a family feud over the burial site of the remains of Nelson Mandela’s children. Mandla exhumed the remains illegally from Qunu and reburied them in Mvezo, which angered the family.
The Mandela family wanted the the remains to be buried in Qunu, where Mandela said he would like to be buried when he dies. Mandla was against this. He wanted them to be buried in Mvezo as he believes that the place has historical significance since it is where Mandela was born. However, Mandela grew up in Qunu.
The Mandela family met in Qunu in June and asked Mandla to return the remains. However, he stormed out of the meeting and refused to answer why he had exhumed them without permission. The matter ended up being resolved in court. The court ordered Mandla to return the remains last week. They were then exhumed from Mvezo and reburied at the Mandela graveyard in Qunu. Mandla vowed to fight the court’s ruling.
Mandla was widely criticized for his conduct. King Dalindyebo decided to strip him of chieftaincy. The king said he would be expelled from all ranks of duties, saying he was no longer needed in the Madiba clan. However, recent reports indicate that the King does not have the power to relieve Madla of his duties. Chief Daludumo Mtirara, the king’s brother, said King Dalinyebo was on his way out himself. According to reports, he was removed as king late last year. They are waiting for the government to process documents that finalize his removal. When the documents have been processed, a new king will be appointed.
Also, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said a king does not have the power to remove a chief. According to Buthelezi, only provinces have the right to install or remove a chief. He said it was also unlikely for a chief to be removed because of his heredity. Mandla did not take the king’s bid to remove him seriously. He described the king as an unstable person who cannot be taken seriously.