Skip to main content

Mandela family grave spat: grandson out of legal hot water

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue November 19, 2013
Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela in the Mthatha high court on July 2, 2013.
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

(CNN) -- 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.

Mandela's grandson loses court fight over burial of icon's children

Tutu: Family feud is almost 'like spitting in' Mandela's face

CNN's Jessica King contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
updated 11:07 AM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 10:44 AM EDT, Sat September 20, 2014
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT