[QODLink]
Africa

Tutu urges Mandela family to honour his name

Nobel laureate asks Nelson Mandela's family not to besmirch anti-apartheid icon's name after week of bitter public feud.

Last Modified: 05 Jul 2013 19:37
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Mandela lies critically ill in what is now his fourth week in hospital [Reuters]

South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu has pleaded with Nelson Mandela's family not to "besmirch" his name after they engaged in a public spat fueled by a legal dispute over a burial site.

"Please, please please may we think not only of ourselves. It's like spitting in Madiba's face," said Tutu in a statement on Thursday.

The family of the anti-apartheid icon has been involved in a bitter legal squabble over the reburial of Mandela's three children whose remains were exhumed from a family graveyard in Qunu in 2011 and reburied in a neighbouring village in Mvezo.

Tutu told the family he could not imagine the difficulty endured by the family when they were separated from the anti-apartheid icon for 27 years while he was in prison, "only to share him with the world when freedom came".

He said, "your anguish, now, is the nation's anguish - and the world's. We want too embrace you, to support you, to shine our love for Madiba through you".

In dramatic scenes on Wednesday, authorities forced open the gates to Mandla's estate to exhume the remains, following a heated legal battle.

The remains were dug out by Mandela's oldest grandson Mandla, without the family's approval.

The bodies have since been reburied in Qunu, Mandela's childhood village after more that a dozen family members led by Mandela's daughter Makaziwe, applied for an urgent ruling forcing Mandla to return them.

Mandla said he had been surprised by the court order and publicly lashed out at his family, accusing Makaziwe, who is his aunt of "trying to sow division and destruction" in the family.

The rift comes as the 94-year-old former political prisoner, who became South Africa's first black president, lies critically ill in what is now his fourth week in hospital.

The exhumed graves belong to Mandela's children who died between 1969 and 2005, one of them is Mandla's own father Makgatho.

Mandla had stated that he had a right to determine where his father ought to be buried.

336

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list