Mandela clan indaba to confirm ranks
Ranking in the Mandela clan and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s reduced role will be confirmed at a special gathering of the abaThembu royal house next month.
The crucial meeting is seen as an apparent move to bring control within the Madiba clan following months of feuding in the family shortly after former president Nelson Mandela died in December last year.
The meeting, which follows the end of the mourning period for Madiba, is scheduled to be held in Qunu on January 16.
Sources within the royal family had already indicated that the preferred head of the Mandela family would be his grandson, Mandla Mandela, and this has raised an angry reaction from Madiba’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who feels that Madiba’s family matters should be led by his eldest daughter, Makaziwe, Zindzi and Zenani Mandela. Zindzi and Zenani are Madiba’s daughters with Winnie – a proposal vehemently rejected by the abaThembu royal family.
Mandla Mandela is geared to be bestowed the formal status of presiding over family affairs including customs, sources said.
He (Mandla), who is chief of Mvezo and an ANC MP, has already assumed his duties following the slaughtering of a cow in a ceremony called izila, which is meant to lift the mourning of a deceased man in the family. The ceremony was held in Qunu on December 7, two days after Madiba’s death anniversary.
Spokesperson for the abaThembu royal family, chief Daludumo Mtirara said the Mtirara was “a great house” in the Madiba family. Therefore it has the status to guide other houses within the Madiba clan.
“The royal family has the pleasure of inviting all the royal houses of the kingdom of AbaThembu from Mtirara, Mnqanqeni, Joyi, Shweni, Mandela and Matanzima houses to converge in Qunu on January 16, at 10am to discuss and confirm, among other things, the head of customs in the Mandela house, links between and among the houses and why the royal family for the kingdom of abaThembu is regarded as a supreme body on cultural matters across all other houses. The meeting will resolve and find a solution to preserve stability in the Mphakanyiswa Mandela (Nelson Mandela’s father) house,” Mtirara said.