How Sad: Mandela’s Widow, Graca Facing Ejection From Madiba’s House, Royal Family...

How Sad: Mandela’s Widow, Graca Facing Ejection From Madiba’s House, Royal Family Issues Statement

By BBC on December 25, 2013
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Mandela's widow Graca Machel,

The royal family to which Nelson Mandela belonged has called on his family not to intimidate or undermine his widow Graca Machel.

It follows unconfirmed reports that some members of the Mandela family want Mrs Machel to leave the home she had shared with him in Johannesburg.

Mrs Machel should not be subjected to abusive language or threats, the AbaThembu royal family spokesman said.

Mr Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, died on 5 December.

He was buried on 15 December at his village, Qunu, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

Winnie Mandela (left), ex-wife of former South African President, and Graca Macel, widow of Mandela, wipe away tears as his flag-draped coffin arrives at the Mthata airport
Winnie Mandela (left), ex-wife of former South African President, and Graca Macel, widow of Mandela, wipe away tears as his flag-draped coffin arrives at the Mthata airport

Mr Mandela was revered across the world for his role in fighting white minority rule, and promoting reconciliation after becoming president in 1994.

He spent 27 years in prison, before being released in 1990.

While Mr Mandela was seriously ill earlier this year, some of his children and grandchildren became embroiled in disputes for control of his legacy and estate.

On Sunday, South Africa’s City Press newspaper reported that Mrs Machel, 68, had endured rejection and abuse from her husband’s family for the past six months.

It said it had learned from six sources inside and outside the Mandela household that Mrs Machel had been told to leave the house in Johannesburg’s upmarket Houghton suburb as soon as Mr Mandela died.

‘Mischievous’

In a statement on Tuesday, AbaThembu royal family spokesman Daludumo Mtirara said that Mrs Machel was currently in mourning and should be shown respect.

Nelson Mandela was given a state funeral

Mr Mandela’s death did not “terminate his commitment” to her, he added.

“Nkosikazi Nosizwe Graca Machel remains the umbrella of the Mandela family and members of the family who do not respect her must refrain from that trend because it is a disgrace that undermines our custom,” Mr Mtirara said.

“We do not doubt her contribution in the later years of the world icon,” he added.

QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 15 (SOUTH AFRICA AND FRANCE OUT):  Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, President Jacob Zuma and Graca Machel during Madiba's State Funeral on December 15, 2013 in Qunu, South Africa. Nelson Mandela passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013 at his home. He is laid to rest at his homestead in Qunu during a State Funeral.  (Photo by Felix Dlangamandla/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA – DECEMBER 15 (SOUTH AFRICA AND FRANCE OUT): Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, President Jacob Zuma and Graca Machel during Madiba’s State Funeral on December 15, 2013 in Qunu, South Africa. Nelson Mandela passed away on the evening of December 5, 2013 at his home. He is laid to rest at his homestead in Qunu during a State Funeral. (Photo by Felix Dlangamandla/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Mr Mandela married Mrs Machel, the wife of Mozambique’s late President Samora Machel, on his 80th birthday on 18 July 1998.

He had been married twice before, to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the late Evelyn Mase.

He is survived by children and grandchildren from these two marriages.

After Mr Mandela’s death, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela dismissed as “mischievous” reports that the feud within the family had resumed.

She said Makaziwe, Mr Mandela’s eldest daughter from his marriage to Evelyn Mase, would be the head of the family.

However, Mr Mtirara said the royal family recognised Mr Mandela’s grandson Mandla as the most senior member of the family.

Makziwe and Mandla were involved in a bitter dispute over the reburial of some Mr Mandela’s relatives in June.

Mr Mandela was born into the AbaThembu royal family, and in 2007 endorsed the appointment of Mandla as a traditional chief.

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was prominent at services to honour Mr Mandela, even though he divorced her in 1996, saying their relationship had broken down.

Winnie Mandela kisses Graca Mandela at one of the events celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela
Winnie Mandela kisses Graca Mandela at one of the events celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Wait a minute, who is that kissing at Mandela’s funeral? Winnie Mandela? Is that her hand with a wedding ring on it? Which husband is this ring for? Nelson Mandela….?

  2. Not only is this sad, its plain disgraceful. Ungrateful bunch!!! Where were they when she agreed to marry him? She married him when he was 80 years old, that can only mean one thing – she will be taking care of an old man, which she did so well. He died happy and fulfilled. Now they want to eject her from the home she shared with Mandela? If they are not fighting for who is the next family head, they are fighting over who has the rights to the Mandela name, and now they are fighting for property. This is disgraceful. Hope they do not tarnish the man’s legacy in under a year. Pathetic

  3. Why is all the Mandela grandchildren and great grandchildren still Mandela’s when their parents are married. A bunch of opportunistics

  4. May the family find peace and solutions to the challenges they are facing, uTata brought respect to the family name Mandela and those left behind whilst they enjoy the cents he has left them with – please do so positively. As a South African and a member of the ANC, Tata and many other unsung heroes and heroines have sacrifised for us. If it were not for them as a black person, I do not even want to begin to imagine how terrible it would still be. Our beloved Country is awesome, we are truly blessed. May we preserve our pride, and remind each other and the world where we come from (20 years) compared to the 27 uTata was taken away from his family for. My heartfelt prayers go out to the family and as we outsiders are told, can everybody allow Chief Mandla to lead the family as his late father would have probably as the son of uTata. May The Almighty Bless Mandla so he may carry what his late grand father wished, and to the entire family – this is no “keeping up with the Mandela’s”. May our revered father, comrade, leader rest in peace!!!

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