Mandela family grave spat: grandson out of legal hot water

Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela in the Mthatha high court on July 2, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Report: Nelson Mandela grandson admitted to reburying Mandela's deceased children
  • 16 family members filed charges and had the remains transferred to Nelson Mandela's property
  • Mandla Mandela was also charged with bigamy, South Africa Press Agency reported
  • SAPA: Prosecutors dropped all charges, citing lack of evidence

Legal strife plaguing the family of South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela may have cooled down a notch Tuesday, when charges that his grandson had tampered with the graves of Mandela's deceased children were dropped.

Prosecutors also dropped unrelated charges of bigamy against Mandla Mandela, the South Africa Press Agency reported.

The grandson, whose full name is Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, had admitted to reburying the remains of three of Nelson Mandela's children, SAPA said, including those of his own father, in Nelson Mandela's birthplace, the village of Mvezo, in 2011.

In July, 16 members of the Mandela family filed grave tampering charges against Mandla, and the remains were transferred to Nelson Mandela's home in the town of Qunu.

The bigamy charges were filed in 2011, after Mandla Mandela married a woman against a court order in 2004. The couple later filed for divorce.

A prosecutors' spokesman told SAPA that the office dropped both charges against Mandela's grandson after determining that investigations had not produced enough evidence to allow for a trial.

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